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How to pick an executor for your will

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2024 | Estate Planning |

When studying options for end-of-life estate planning, a will is one of the most effective legal tools at your disposal. It allows you to ensure that your loved ones inherit your assets.

While the contents of your will are crucial, it is just as important to pick a worthy executor who will manage your estate. It is in your best interest to select someone capable of carrying out your wishes.

Who can and cannot be an executor

As mentioned above, the executor is responsible for following the instructions laid out in your will and distributing your assets to your loved ones.

You could ask one of your trusted family members or friends to serve as an executor. Another option is to hire professional executors like financial institutions, accountants or probate law firms.

Consider these traits when selecting an executor:

  • Competent: When picking an executor, look for someone financially literate and responsible so that they can effectively navigate probate.
  • Trustworthy: It is crucial that you pick someone you can trust to act in your best interests. After all, it will be their job to gather, safeguard and distribute your assets.
  • Objective: While it is common to select family members as executors, also consider that an executor who has strained relationships with your beneficiaries may not be able to fulfill your requests properly.

Keep in mind that if you ask someone to serve as your executor, they can say no.

Meanwhile, Florida law includes some rules of who cannot act as an executor. For example, it disqualifies minors, convicted felons and physically and mentally incompetent individuals from being will executors. Picking the wrong person could cause problems down the line.

Risks of choosing the wrong executor

An underqualified executor could mismanage your will, causing delays in the distribution of your wealth to your heirs. Someone not acting in good faith may even attempt to commit fraud and transfer assets to other people not named in your will.

On the other hand, someone who has bad blood with your heirs may treat them unfairly and may even undermine your will intentionally.

Therefore, the fulfillment of your wishes and plans is highly dependent on who you pick as your executor. Take your time, and ensure you make the right choice for you and your family.