Are you in the process of creating a will and have questions about appointing an Executor?
When deciding who you will choose to be the Executor of your Will, there are various factors you may wish to consider.
These factors include:
- the potential Executor’s willingness to act,
- whether you trust them,
- whether they are familiar with you, and
- whether they have the time and the ability to carry out the duties of an Executor.
A good approach is to ask your potential Executor if they would be willing to take on the task.
Because your Executor will be responsible for carrying out the instructions in your Will and dealing with your assets and debts, it is best to choose someone you trust. If they are familiar with your situation, it will likely be easier to deal with your Estate. Your Executor must be able to handle the work that comes with handling an Estate, which includes
- locating property,
- applying for probate,
- distributing assets and gifts to beneficiaries, and
- filing your Estate’s tax return to name a few.
Most people appoint a family member or a close friend, however, you may also appoint a lawyer, a notary public, or a private trust company. You can appoint more than one Executor, in which case they will have to act together. You will want to consider if the person or people you wish to appoint as Executor will put the interests of the Estate first and if they will have the capacity to take on the task.
You should also consider if the person you wish to appoint is likely to outlive you and ensure to name an alternate Executor in case the person you have chosen is unable or unwilling to act. If you have concerns about a potential Executor acting in their own self-interest, you may wish to hire an impartial third party to be your Executor or co-executor (such as a lawyer or notary public). You will also want to consider how your Executor will be compensated. If your Executor is also one of your beneficiaries who is getting a gift under the Will, they will not be able to claim additional compensation unless you authorize such compensation in your Will.