If you are ready to prepare your will, have you considered who you wish to have as the executor?

The person you name will be responsible for administering your estate after your death. This is a highly responsible position that requires careful thought on your part and a thorough understanding of the work ahead for your nominee.

Choosing your executor

Since the probate court must approve your choice of executor, it is wise to select someone close to home. You should also name someone young enough that he or she will be around after you die to carry out the many tasks involved in managing your estate. He or she should be familiar with your values and family situation. When taking on the role of executor, it also helps to have a business or financial background.

Taking care of details

The executor is your fiduciary. He or she will locate and account for your assets and liabilities, pay bills, prepare and submit taxes, protect the assets of the estate and, finally, distribute the assets to your heirs in line with the instructions in your will. Keep in mind that your executor may also have to arbitrate any disputes over your will that may crop up among your beneficiaries.

Relying on expertise

The job of estate administration is almost always a more complex undertaking than it initially appears, and unexpected issues will undoubtedly arise. Name someone who you know will ask for help from professionals, such as an accountant, a financial advisor and an attorney. Serving as an executor is a big responsibility and the person you appoint will not want to make any legal missteps.