Who is the first person who comes to mind when you’re trying to think of an executor? Is it someone who isn’t responsible? Is it someone with zero acumen for business? It might be time to go back to the drawing board.
The choice of your executor could affect the success or failure of your entire estate plan, so be wise and careful in your selection process.
Who is qualified to be an executor?
Anyone can be an executor as long as they’re 18 years of age or older. Even individuals who are beneficiaries of the estate can serve as executors, and this is common. For example, children and spouses are some of the most common people to serve as executors.
What are the qualities of a good executor?
Choose someone whom you trust to serve as your executor, as this person will need to follow the instructions in your will. In addition to this person being someone you trust, it should also be someone with a certain amount of business acumen and diplomacy. He or she may need to navigate issues relating to taxes, banking and investments so it’s important that the individual has the capacity to understand these matters.
Should you choose a family member?
A family member is an excellent idea for the job of executor as long as he or she is capable of navigating the responsibility diplomatically, with a mind for business and in a calm, level-headed fashion. Always discuss with your potential executor to ensure that he or she is willing to take on the responsibility.
As an aside, don’t name only one executor. You should also have one or two “back up” executors just in case your named executors are unable to perform their duties for some reason.
Many Louisiana residents have success with their executor selection process by naming an attorney, accountant or banker as their executors. This could be a wise choice for individuals who possess especially complicated estates.