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One important part of creating an estate plan is choosing an executor to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated or fulfill your wishes when you are gone.

The person in this role takes on significant responsibilities. He or she can also have a considerable impact on the estate administration process, so it is important to think critically about who you assign to this position. Before you appoint an executor, consider the following traits that could be red flags.

Disorganized

Estate administration can be complicated, especially when the estate goes through probate. An executor has several duties, from notifying creditors to distributing assets.

A disorganized person could overlook or miss critical details resulting in costly consequences and delays. 

Combative

An executor typically must contact heirs and beneficiaries, make decisions on whether to sell a decedent’s property and distribute the remaining property. These are not always easy decisions. This is especially true if there is no definitive guidance from the decedent. As such, clashes can arise between the executor and others.

Someone who is combative can cause or exacerbate family tension, complicating the probate process.

Easily overwhelmed

Administering an estate in Ohio can be overwhelming. Included in the responsibilities a person has for administering the estate are contacting beneficiaries, paying taxes, closing accounts and filing legal documents.

This can be overwhelming for a person, especially if he or she is uncomfortable multi-tasking or being resourceful.

Careless

The person you choose to execute your wishes should be able to keep accurate records and comply with legal requirements. If someone is inexact or indifferent, he or she can cause avoidable problems with the estate.

Someone who is careless may also fail to appreciate the gravity of their role. This can be upsetting for your loved ones if he or she does not seem to care about appropriately carrying out your wishes.

Your executor should be organized, responsible and detail-oriented. If you have questions or concerns about who to assign to this role, you can seek the input of an estate planning attorney.