Did you feel a little surprised when you remembered you must designate someone to take charge of your estate upon your death? The need to appoint an executor is something most people understand but somehow overlook when they first begin estate planning.
You may feel rushed to select an estate executor, but it is vital to consider the matter carefully before you put anything in writing. Not everyone has what it takes to handle estate administration effectively. Ensure your final selection has the skills, ability and personality to handle the job.
What skills should they have?
Attention to detail is one of the most critical skills estate executors need to fulfill their duties. Look for someone who likes detail-oriented tasks and has exceptional organizing skills.
These qualities are also beneficial:
- Mathematical proficiency
- Good communication skills
- Knowledge of financial issues
Although not exactly a skill or talent, honesty is vital as your executor will have access to your bank and other financial accounts.
Are they able to serve?
Estate administration requires active participation and cannot be handled from the dining room table with a laptop computer.
Someone with a busy full-time career or a dependent young family may not be an ideal prospect. It is also usually best to choose someone who lives in California and understands its estate administration rules.
Do they want the role?
A reluctant estate executor may not perform as well as someone more enthusiastic about the role. Explain that it is okay to say no and encourage them to decline your offer if they are not excited about the prospect of serving.
Friends and close relatives are not your only choices. Speaking with an estate planning professional can point you in the right direction when filling the role of executor.