An executor plays an important role in an estate plan. For that reason, estate planners should look for desirable characteristics in an executor and know what those are. Understanding the characteristics of an executor will help inform the estate planner’s decision.
Characteristics of an executor
There are several desirable characteristics in an executor including:
- Ethical and dependable: An executor should be someone who is trusted and reliable. A good executor can be a friend or family member, attorney, accountant, banker or trustee.
- Organized: An executor can benefit from an attention to detail and an ability to track many details.
- Financial savvy: An executor should have the business or financial knowledge to protect the estate planner’s assets.
- Available: Settling an estate can take nine to twelve months which is why the estate planner should select an executor who is available to do the job.
- Fair and impartial: An executor has to balance the wishes of the estate planner with the best interests of the beneficiaries which is why it is helpful for them to have an equitable approach.
- Compassionate: An executor has to guide loved ones through a difficult and challenging time so it is helpful for them to be compassionate.
- Strong willed: Many claims may be made against the estate during the probate process and executors need to be able to stand up to false creditors and invalid claims.
There are many important decisions to make during the estate planning process. Selecting an executor is one of them which is why estate planners should know how to go about selecting the best one for their estate plan.