Choosing an executor for your will is an important decision that can greatly impact the administration of your estate after your passing. An executor is responsible for managing the distribution of your assets, paying off debts and taxes, and ensuring that your final wishes are carried out according to your will. Here are some important things to consider when choosing an executor for your will:
One of the most important qualities to consider when choosing an executor is trustworthiness. You want to choose someone who is honest, reliable, and has a good reputation for handling money and other important matters. This person will have access to your financial accounts and other sensitive information, so it is crucial that you choose someone you can trust.
The role of an executor can be time-consuming and complex, so it is important to choose someone who has the time and availability to handle the responsibilities. This may include meeting with lawyers, accountants, and other professionals, as well as communicating with beneficiaries and creditors.
3. Familiarity with Your Estate
It can be helpful to choose an executor who is familiar with your estate and your wishes. This may include someone who has knowledge of your assets, debts, and other important details of your estate plan. If your estate is particularly complex, you may want to consider choosing someone with a legal or financial background who can navigate the complexities of the probate process.
4. Willingness to Serve
Before naming someone as your executor, it is important to discuss the role with them and ensure that they are willing to serve in this capacity. Being an executor can be a significant responsibility and some people may not be comfortable or willing to take on this role.
5. Age and Health
Choosing an executor who is younger and in good health can be beneficial, as this person may be better equipped to handle the role for a longer period of time. It is also important to choose someone who is likely to outlive you, as the role of an executor typically lasts until the estate is fully distributed.
In New York State, executors are entitled to receive compensation for their services, which is usually a percentage of the value of the estate. Before naming someone as your executor, consider discussing compensation and ensure that they are comfortable with the amount they will receive.
7. Backup Executor
It is also a good idea to name a backup executor in case your primary executor is unable or unwilling to serve. This ensures that there is someone in place to manage your estate if something happens to your primary executor.
Choosing an executor for your will is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. By considering these factors, you can choose someone who is trustworthy, reliable, and capable of managing your estate according to your wishes. An experienced estate planning attorney can provide guidance and support as you navigate this process and ensure that your final wishes are carried out in the most effective way possible.
At Fratello Law, our attorneys have assisted clients with drafting wills that ensure that their wishes are followed for decades. We help executors navigate New York’s probate process in the Surrogate’s Court every day. Every client’s estate plan is unique, and our estate planning and probate attorneys take the time to understand the specific needs of each client we serve.