When selecting your executor for your estate, you will likely feel tempted to pick someone that you know, such as a family member. After all, who makes for a better executor than someone who knows you well?
Unfortunately, though, just knowing you well is not a good enough reason to pick someone for this intense job.
Skills an executor needs
Forbes talks about the duties that executors must oversee. An executor acts as the central figure to your estate plan, so they are often the person who shoulders the most duties, burdens and responsibilities.
They are the center point of communication, for example. They will contact all other members involved in your estate, such as financial advisors or attorneys. They will contact debtors, or anyone that you owe a debt to. They will also contact your beneficiaries.
Thus, they must have strong organizational, time-management and social skills. They will have to handle these people and their needs and requests in a timely manner, all while managing to navigate delicate social situations due to people’s grief.
Duties executors handle
On top of that, they will handle the small and big matters of your estate as it goes through probate. This includes deciding what ongoing bills to continue paying, which ones to cancel and handling your last taxes.
Regarding probate, this process can take a long time, too. Probate can potentially last for years. Thus, your choice for executor needs to prepare for this possibility.
While it is great if your relative can handle these responsibilities, you may want to consider someone else if they cannot.