Having a good estate plan can help you retain control over the fate of your assets, even after your death. However, not having a trustworthy executor may put your plan at risk of failure.
Choosing the right person to oversee your affairs may take some time. Knowing what to look for can help you make an informed and confident decision.
Not everyone has the resources to close your estate. In fact, it can actually take quite a bit of time to complete the task. According to CNBC, the average period of time it takes to close an estate is 16 months. This means that the person you select should have the resources and flexibility to manage the demands of closing your estate on top of his or her own personal affairs.
Looking for someone with a specific lifestyle can provide reassurance. While not required, some factors that may indicate a more reliable person include the following:
- Proven track record of responsible financial decisions
- Ability to communicate well with others
- Timely tending to critical tasks
- Attention to detail
- Poise under pressure
Perhaps the most critical skill for your executor to possess is organization. Closing your estate will require that the person of your choosing tends to many time-sensitive tasks. These may include paying off your debts, obtaining your death certificate, closing personal bank accounts, distributing your assets and finalizing your memorial service among other things. Your executor should demonstrate the ability to carefully prioritize, organize and complete tasks in an efficient and effective manner.
Prior to naming an executor, verify that the person you choose agrees to the role. Proactively disclose your expectations and desires to improve understanding and encourage responsibility.