There are many aspects of developing an estate plan, such as properly drafting a will. However, one of the most important parts of creating an effective estate plan is choosing an executor. Ohio residents should give considerable thought to whom they select to serve in the role.
Executors need to have the knowledge and ability to efficiently carry out the tasks of administering an estate. They have to be trustworthy enough to handle money and be reliable enough to fully carry out the final wishes of the decedent.
When choosing an executor, individuals should make the assumption that the person they choose will outlive them. This means that it is not advisable to select as an executor an older sibling or parent. An adult child, nephew, niece or trusted family friend may be more appropriate choices.
Individuals should also choose an executor who knows them well. The ideal person will be intimately familiar with the life of the owner of the estate. The objective is to choose someone who will be able to interpret the will better than someone who did not know the decedent well. A family member or close friend may better understand the debts that may need to be repaid after the death of the estate owner. Individuals should choose someone with whom they are comfortable discussing their financial situation.
The person appointed as executor also needs to have the willingness to serve in the position. Being executor carries a significant amount of responsibility and may require a lot of work if the estate is sizable.
An estate planning attorney may consider the estate of a client and recommend certain types of wills and trusts to include in an estate plan so that the client’s wishes are honored after death. Assistance may be provided with selecting an executor.