How to Choose an Executor of Your Estate

Establishing an estate plan may seem like a daunting task. Not only does it require you to take inventory of your possessions and assets, but you must determine who you would like to receive your property.

One of the most important components of creating your estate plan involves choosing who you would like to oversee your affairs once you pass. The executor of the estate is in charge of handling these matters, so it is critical that you select a person that is best suited to take on this heavy responsibility.

What does an estate executor do?

Sometimes referred to as an estate administrator, the executor represents the estate through the probate process, according to Once he or she gathers all of the property and assets included in the estate, the administrator determines the estate’s value. Any remaining taxes or expenses left by the estate are then paid out of the value. The courts then distribute the remaining possessions to the beneficiaries named in the last will and testament. The executor must protect the property and assets during this time and ensure everything gets to the proper final destination.

What characteristics should an administrator have?

Choosing an estate executor that is up for the job is critical. You want to choose someone that has certain characteristics including the following:

  • Trustworthy to ensure he or she will not steal or deflect any property or possessions
  • Punctual to ensure he or she meets deadlines on time
  • Organized to ensure he or she handles everything properly and does not overlook anything
  • Available and has the time needed to spend on estate matters

You may want to consult the proposed executor before naming them in your last will and testament. You may also consider naming a backup estate administrator if one is not available to act in that role.