An executor is the individual, individuals or trust company that you make responsible for safeguarding your worldly assets, paying your final debts and ultimately distributing your estate in accordance with your wishes.
There is no correct answer as to who should be your executor as it depends upon many such factors as your family dynamic (do your family members get along?), the complexity of your assets (do you own many properties or businesses?), and the details of your wishes (are you holding assets in trust for anyone?).
While an executor possesses the authority to hire professionals to assist them (accountants, lawyers, realtors, etc.) and does not need specific pre-existing knowledge or expertise, we recommend the following points to consider:
- Do you trust them implicitly?
- Do they possess common sense?
- Do they possess some basic financial acumen?
- Are they familiar with your family, wishes and assets?
- Are they local?
- Are they willing to do it?
If your choice for executor is lacking in any of these six points we recommend you think further and consider either another candidate or a professional executor such as a lawyer, accountant or trust company.