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Choosing an executor for your estate

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Firm News, Wills, Estates & Probate

Choosing an executor for your estate is an important step in the estate planning process. An executor is someone who oversees the management of your estate after you pass away.

This generally involves making sure any remaining debts and taxes are paid and then distributing your assets to your beneficiaries. While you might want to choose someone obvious, such as a spouse or child, there are several factors to consider before making this decision.

Although the executor’s role does not begin until after you pass way, their actions can have a major impact on your family members and loved ones who are left behind.

Trustworthy, honest and dependable

An executor should be someone you trust. Your executor will have access to your assets and be responsible for properly managing those assets. Do not select someone who you worry will run off with the money.

Along with being trustworthy, your executor should be responsible and diligent. Being an executor is a huge responsibility and comes with many steps and requirements.

The estate administration process in Tennessee is not completed in a day. It often takes weeks to months for all steps to be completed, even if you have a relatively simple estate.

Choose an executor you believe can stay on top of all required tasks and see the administration process through to the end. For example, selecting a cousin who is known to move around frequently or disappear for months at a time is probably not a wise choice.

Additional considerations

Another helpful tip for choosing an executor is to select someone who is good with finances. Being an executor involves dealing with a lot of numbers, from calculating owed debts and taxes to valuing assets.

Finally, it is best to choose someone who is younger and in decent health. If you appoint an executor who passes away before you do and forget to update your will, the court will appoint an executor, who may be someone you would not have wanted.