An Executor has significant responsibilities related to the management and administration of the estate.
Things to consider when choosing an Executor:
We recommend nominating an Executor that you trust, and that will be capable of handling the responsibilities. Because an Executor is required to carry out the the terms of your Will, you might consider selecting an Executor whose judgment you trust. Here are some additional points you may wish to consider:
- It may be helpful to select an Executor that's comfortable handling the receipt and distribution of assets.
- An Executor may choose to work with an attorney and/or accountant to delegate some of these responsibilities, so your Executor might not have to handle everything alone. This is not required!
- Attorneys and accountants will increase the costs and expenses of administering the estate, which could reduce the amount distributed to your beneficiaries from your estate.
When and how is the Executor appointed?
Typically, the court will appoint the Executor nominated in a Will. If the nominated Executor is unable or unwilling to serve, then the court may appoint a backup Executor, if one is also nominated in the Will. If there is no Executor nominated in a Will that is willing and able to serve as Executor, then the court will appoint someone else to serve in the same or similar role. This could be a surviving spouse or other close family member. It is important to nominate not only a primary Executor, but also several backup Executors, just to make sure your requests are carried out in deciding who will manage the administration of your estate.