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Choosing the Right Executor for Your Will

executor for your will - choosing right

Found the Right Executor for Your Will Yet?

Once you’ve made the important decision to create a will or an estate plan, you must name the right executor for your will. An executor carries out your wishes after your death. I cannot overstate the importance of selecting a trustworthy and capable executor.

The executor is the person you entrust with gathering your assets, keeping them safe and distributing them to the loved ones or charitable institutions named in your will. The executor will also be responsible for having your will verified in a court of law, or, if necessary, taking your estate through probate. However, the best idea is to have an estate plan that prevents the necessity of going through probate.

How To Choose Your Will Executor

When selecting an executor, it’s important that you know exactly what you are asking of them. I’ve provided some questions for you to ask yourself as you are making your decision for selecting the right executor for your Will.

Do they have the time and inclination to deal with all the paperwork?

This may involve paying various bills and dealing with insurance companies, hospitals, and various other charges of a last illness, not to mention tracking down financial accounts. It may be wise to choose someone who has the time to handle this aspect of your estate. And, it would be smart to choose someone with proven financial competence if possible. (The person you select as your executor could be the same individual you assigned as financial Power of Attorney. You can read about this role in a recent article I wrote earlier this month by clicking here: Functions Of Powers of Attorney For Healthcare And Financial Decisions)

Can they deal calmly and fairly with potential heirs and creditors?

It is a good idea to select someone capable of resolving potential conflicts that may arise after your death, someone who remains level-headed in the face of conflict.

Are they well-organized and capable of juggling several tasks?

Since there is a lot of paperwork involved in settling an estate, it is important to choose someone with strong organizational abilities.

Do they have financial or legal experience?

While this isn’t a necessary requirement, it would certainly be a big plus. Don’t worry though if the executor of your estate doesn’t have this level of experience. They can always work with a qualified attorney or accountant to assist them in settling your affairs. (As I mentioned above, this could be the same person who fills the role of your Financial Power of Attorney).

Selecting the right executor for your will may be an easy decision for you…

However, if there is no family member at least 18 years of age, or good friend who would be appropriate and able or inclined to take on the required responsibilities, you can hire an attorney or what is known as a corporate fiduciary who would become the acting Trustee.  When you are ready to create your will and name your executor, give my office a call at (470) 235-7868 and let us help you navigate create a comprehensive estate plan that will honor your wishes and avoid probate.


Looking to find an experienced estate lawyer in the Georgia area who is skilled in asset protection and estate plan preparation? Shannon Pawley is an attorney in Georgia with expertise in estate planning and asset protection. Shannon can provide assistance with creating an estate plan to include making a will and how to establish a trust properly. If you have questions about asset protection or questions about making an estate plan, reach out to Shannon and she will be glad to help answer all the estate planning questions you might have!

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