During estate planning, you may consider a family member or loved one to carry out the executor role if something happens to you. After all, you need someone you trust will uphold your wishes and family members often fulfill that role within your life. However, good traits of an executor extend beyond trustworthiness.
Do not expect everyone to have the skills or personality necessary to fulfill the role of executor. Instead, objectively critique your family member.
Does your family member have financial experience?
While you do not have to choose a family member with financial experience, it does help. The executor may have to make financial decisions regarding your debts and assets. If you do not have a loved one with financial experience or who has a talent for finance, you may want to consider someone more objective to handle your affairs. For example, some people choose a financial planner as the executor.
Does your family member have time for the role?
On average, estates take 16 months to settle. If your executor choice has full-time employment and children, you need to ask yourself if he or she can give the role the time needed. You need someone who you trust can juggle multiple roles simultaneously. Be careful choosing family members who struggle to balance their personal and professional lives.
When choosing an executor, always have a backup plan. Many people choose their spouses as executors, but you must prepare for the possibility that something can happen to you and your spouse simultaneously.