Often we look to friends and family first.
Are they capable?
It’s not a simple responsibility so you need to assure yourself with their competence in this arena.
Are they willing?
Many people turn down the honour
Will their age be an impairment?
At the age of 42, your uncle at the age of 53 may not be the best choice. His job doesn’t start until the time you die. You could be 75, that would make him 86…might not be great timing. Of course, you may know something today that makes that decision the logical one.
Do they understand that many months and sometimes years will be required to complete the task?
Perhaps there are trusts involved, businesses, investments, Guardianship considerations, beneficiaries who don’t get along well or something else…
What about the liabilities they assume in taking on the role?
Yes there are potential liability issues. Always make sure your potential Executor knows what they are. It is possible (and under certain conditions mandatory) that your Executor will be required to post a bond in order to proceed with the role.
Do they have the time to do all the work that’s entailed?
A simple Estate may take very little time or energy to work through the processes. On the other hand a more complex one could be the equivalent of a very demanding part time job (or more) and for a period lasting as little as several months and sometimes… years.
Will this responsibility act as the source of rivalries?
Perhaps you have three adult children. Chances are that if they don’t get along now they aren’t likely to get along better if one of them is singled out as the Executor and it may even be more complex if they are jointly responsible.
Will this role make another survivor or beneficiary vulnerable to abuse?
Sometimes we need to think about some hard facts. Perhaps an offspring has a ‘habit’ that complicates life. Will that make mom, dad, aunt or uncle vulnerable to some sort of abuse…financial, physical or otherwise.
Remember: These represent only a few of the considerations. There may be lots more that will come to your mind. Hopefully, this post has given you some ideas on who should be your executor.