List a few executor candidates before making a decision

| Dec 18, 2020 | Estate planning |

You likely understand that sifting through your possessions, handling your outstanding bills and distributing your assets after your passing will not be an easy job for anyone. As a result, you want to create a plan and leave useful instructions for your chosen executor through your will and other estate planning documents. While these instructions can certainly be helpful, it is also necessary that you choose the best person for the position.

This is not a decision to make in haste. While a particular person may first come to mind, it may be worthwhile to make a list of at least a few candidates before making your final decision. As you evaluate their skills and abilities, you may find that your first choice is not the best.

Who could you consider?

It is common for New Jersey residents to first think of their spouse when deciding who should administer the estate. Your spouse is a viable option, but you may want to consider the possibility that it could be too difficult for your spouse. After all, he or she will certainly feel a considerable amount of grief during this time and having to handle your final affairs may seem a bit too much to take on. Fortunately, other options exist, such as the following:

  • Any adult children you may have
  • A trusted accountant or financial advisor
  • A professional executor service
  • An attorney

You may want to keep your estate affairs in the family and choosing an adult son or daughter could allow you to do that. Of course, it is important that you ask and have your candidate agree before appointing him or her as executor. On the other hand, you may feel that hiring a professional could help prevent an emotional burden for your loved ones. However, it is important to remember that hiring a professional will mean paying associated fees.

Important qualities

The person you choose to handle the administration of your estate will have a considerable amount of responsibility. As a result, you will undoubtedly want to choose someone who is responsible, trustworthy, willing and able to take on the role. Additionally, you may want to choose someone who is not afraid to ask for help. It is often necessary to use the help of an attorney during the probate process to ensure that everything goes correctly and having someone willing to take that step is wise.