One part of estate planning includes choosing an executor. This person has a lot of responsibility, so it is important to take the time to choose the right one.
According to Forbes, an executor is responsible for many important things. These include gathering all assets listed in the will, assessing valuation, hunting down heirs and dealing with tax implications. Choosing someone who has good attention to detail is a good start. It helps if an executor has financial experience, or at least will hire the right people and knows the right questions to ask. The person should also be mature enough but young enough that he or she will outlive the estate’s owner.
Just as choosing an executor takes time and thought, AARP warns that accepting the role should also not be in haste. First of all, the person should understand the time commitment it requires. The amount of time spent on phone calls, in meetings with financial professional and accumulating information can take a long time, and there is also the task of sorting through the deceased’s personal items and assessing value.
The finalization of all tax-related dealings also takes a while. It is not unusual for an executor’s role to last a couple years, and this time can increase in more complex situations.
Being an executor also requires a certain disposition. Dealing with varying personalities of family members can be draining, especially if some are contesting the will. Money is also a factor when accepting the responsibility. It can be costly, especially if frequent travel is necessary. While most estates include compensation for the executor, it may not be enough to cover all expenses.