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Mistakes to avoid when choosing an executor

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Estate Planning

Choosing an executor for your will is an important decision that will impact how your estate is managed and distributed after passing. An executor manages your estate, pays off debts and taxes and distributes assets according to your will.

Given the complexity and importance of this role, you’ll need to avoid common mistakes when selecting an executor. The best way to avoid these mistakes is by knowing what they are.

Choosing someone based on emotions

One common error is choosing an executor based solely on emotional ties, such as selecting a close family member without considering their ability to handle the responsibilities. While it’s understandable to trust loved ones, it’s essential to assess their organizational skills, financial literacy and ability to deal with legal processes. An executor who is overwhelmed or lacks the necessary skills can lead to delays and complications in the estate administration.

Overlooking possible conflicts of interest

Another mistake is not considering potential conflicts of interest. For example, if the executor stands to benefit significantly from the will, this might lead to disputes with other beneficiaries. It’s crucial to choose someone who can remain impartial and fair to all parties involved.

Ignoring the needs of availability and longevity

The availability and longevity of the chosen executor are often overlooked. The executor should be readily available to manage the estate and likely to outlive the testator. Choosing someone of a similar age or with health issues might result in them being unable to fulfill their duties when the time comes.

Selecting an executor requires careful consideration of their skills, impartiality, availability and the support they will need. Avoiding these common mistakes can help to ensure that your estate is managed effectively and according to your wishes.