Finding the right executor is an essential step in estate planning. This individual is legally responsible for managing your financial affairs after you pass away. They facilitate the probate process, which protects your property as creditors are paid off, and they ensure your beneficiaries receive their portion of the estate. Below are several tips to help you choose the right person for the job.
How to Choose an Executor During the Estate Planning Process
1. Consider Family Dynamics
Though people tend to name spouses and children as executors of their estate, they aren’t always the ideal choice. Negative family dynamics can result in fighting or disputes if you choose a relative who others deem as irresponsible or unfair. If you feel as though having a family member manage your affairs would produce conflicts after you pass, it’s better to find a third party to execute your decisions.
2. Pick a Responsible Party
No matter who you name as your executor, they must be responsible. It isn’t necessary to select a lawyer or financial planner to get the job done. However, whomever you choose must have effective communication and organizational skills, as well as sound judgment. Part of their job is to communicate with heirs and beneficiaries, manage the finances and assets of your estate, and occasionally consult with legal counsel on behalf of the estate. If you aren’t confident in a person’s ability to manage these responsibilities, do not choose them.
3. Look at Their Financial Background
Sometimes, courts require executors to get bonding, which is a type of insurance that protects beneficiaries in case the executor flees with estate funds. Before someone can receive this insurance, the courts will look into their background to ensure their financial responsibility. If your chosen executor has too many creditors, liens, or no credit history, they may not get bonded and will be rejected by the courts, so it’s best to make sure your executor has their finances in order during the estate planning process.
If you need guidance during your estate planning process, the team at Davis & Associates in Dothan, AL, is here to help. With more than 36 years of experience practicing elder and probate law, these attorneys are committed to providing clients throughout southeast Alabama with personalized legal services. Whether you need an executor for your estate or assistance acquiring social security or disability, they have the legal expertise to guide you. To schedule a consultation, call (334) 671-3990 or visit them online today.