You gave careful thought to what you want your will to accomplish. You made sure all the terms of your will are consistent with your wishes. Even if you've done all these things, the probate process could still end up going very differently than you would have wanted if you make a critical mistake in your will. This mistake is picking the wrong executor.
The executor is in charge of managing a person's estate and implementing the terms of a will after a person passes away. A person typically names an executor in his or her will.
An executor takes on many important duties in connection to the management of an estate. How well he or she performs these duties has very big impacts on how the probate process goes. So, picking the wrong person for this role could increase the chances of probate difficulties, family conflicts and things that could endanger your estate planning goals arising after you pass away.
Given this, the decision of who to choose for this role is not one to be made lightly. Here are some things individuals may want to factor in when making this important choice:
- Willingness: A person chosen as executor could opt to not accept the role. This could leave your estate without your first choice for this important role. So, when considering a person for executor, it can be worthwhile to talk with him or her to make sure he or she would be willing to serve the role.
- Trustworthiness: Given the many important and delicate issues that can arise in connection to an estate, how trustworthy an executor is matters greatly.
- Ability: Being an executor carries a lot of important responsibilities. So, it can be important to pick a person who is up to the task.
- Location: Practical considerations can also be important to factor in when picking an executor. When an executor lives far away, it could create added complications for the executor and the probate process.
- How well the person would work with beneficiaries: If there is bad blood between an executor and one of the beneficiaries, it could create a much higher chance of probate conflicts and difficulties.
As this underscores, there are a lot of choices when it comes to a will that can have very big impacts. So, being properly informed and having good guidance can be important when making will-related decisions.