4 Qualities You Should Look for in the Executor of Your Will

Wills are one of the most common tools used during estate planning. A will allows you to provide specific instructions regarding how you would like your property distributed. However, even the most articulate will wouldn't be useful without appointing a competent executor.

The executor of your will is the person entrusted with the responsibility of carrying out what you specified within the document itself. This is why you should take time to identify someone who has the qualities necessary for this responsibility.

But what goes into finding an executor of your will? Here are four qualities you should look for.

1. Knowledge of essential responsibilities

Not everyone has a legal background or professional experience to become an executor. Executors and administrators will need to perform a variety of functions that have legal significance. For example, they need to fill out the paperwork required during the probate process, adhere to any tax requirements that concern your estate and oversee the distribution of assets to beneficiaries. Performing such actions will require knowledge of the process to avoid costly mistakes.

Many people entrust execution responsibilities to estate lawyers because of their knowledge of the process. However, you can name any person to execute your will as long as they have sufficient capacity to adhere to these responsibilities.

2. Organisation and leadership

Depending on the size of your estate and the complexity of your will, you may need to ensure that the executor has strong organisational and leadership skills. Executing a will involves handling many different tasks at the same time. From contacting and informing beneficiaries to protecting the estate from unlawful claims, you need someone who can exhibit strong leadership skills while fulfilling your specific wishes.  

3. Consultation

Executors have the top legal responsibility of administering wills as written by an estate owner. But due to the long list of tasks they may need to perform, choosing someone who can consult and collaborate with others can simplify the administration process. For example, your executor may benefit from seeking the support of a wills lawyer when navigating probate court.

For estate owners who pass away with unpaid debt, debtors may strongly pursue the deceased's assets to recover their losses. Your executor will benefit from consulting with other professionals when validating debt, identifying genuine beneficiary claims and carrying out an inventory of current assets.

4. Trustworthiness

Perhaps the most important quality an executor should have is trustworthiness. Appoint a person who will dedicate their time and efforts to ensuring that your will is administered how you would have wanted while still alive.