Choosing the right executor often requires serious thought. There are multiple factors to consider beyond trust, such as health, youth, their willingness and their level of responsibility.
1. Have a backup
It’s advisable to choose both an executor and a backup executor. A backup executor would take the executor’s place if they decline the role after your death or if they die at the same time as you.
2. Ask if they want the role
Naming someone as your executor doesn’t legally obligate them to serve. The judge gives them the opportunity to decline the responsibility. Thus, it’s a good idea to ask the person whom you want to name as your executor if they’re willing to take on this role.
3. Choose a young person
Consider making either your main or backup executor someone who’s young. You may not want to risk both of your executors dying around the same time as you. It’s a good idea to immediately update your estate plan when one of your executors dies as well. This would help reduce the chance that you die without an executor of your choosing.
4. Think about who’s responsible
Trust isn’t enough when choosing an executor. Estate planning professionals advise that clients only select a person who’s responsible. They will need to stick to a submission schedule to carry out your estate plan on time. Delays could cause your beneficiaries to wait longer on receiving their inheritances.
5. Avoid those who engage in drama
The ability to maintain a cool head and execute the decedent’s estate plan without bias or hard feelings is essential. You may want to cross off anyone on your list who regularly engages in drama.
6. Consider a fiduciary
You don’t have to choose someone you know as your executor. New York allows you to choose a corporate fiduciary that offers executor services.
Choosing the right executor matters for the speed and ease of passing on your property after your death. It’s a good idea to evaluate a person’s responsibility, maturity, health and willingness before formally choosing them.