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What should you look for in an executor?

As you're getting older, you're realizing that you do need to get your estate plan together and protect yourself and your heirs. You don't want to pass away without making your wishes known and knowing that you didn't do everything that you could to protect those you love.

Getting the right executor is a serious concern, and it's one you shouldn't take lightly. If you choose the wrong executor, he or she could be overwhelmed by the tasks or be unable to provide the services needed.

You need to pick people who are responsible as those who protect your interests. Any executor needs to be honest and responsible. Anyone who is responsible will know when to hire an attorney or outside help instead of trying to do everything on his or her own. If you don't know anyone who can handle the estate as an executor, then you can appoint your attorney or another professional.

Another thing to consider is that your executor should be younger than you. At least one, if you choose multiple executors or successors, needs to be younger than you to make sure he or she is likely to be alive and capable of serving when the time comes.

You'll also want to consider those who are in good financial standing as executors. If someone has bad credit or a history of bankruptcy, it will be harder for the bonding company to back the executor as a form of insurance. If the bonding company won't insure the executor, the court is unlikely to allow the person to take the role of an executor for your estate.

Source: Kiplinger, "7 Tips for Choosing the Right Executor," Daniel A. Timins, accessed May 29, 2018

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