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How to Choose a Will Executor

It is important to choose the right will executor if you are planning to draft a will for your estate. Choosing a will executor is the responsibility of a person initiating a will (known as a testator). You can choose any person to be your will executor, as long as that person is not legally disqualified. You will want to choose the right senior will executor because that will be given the right to administer the affairs of your estate after your death, and this right will only be taken away in rare cases. In this section, you will learn how to choose a will executor as well as some information about professional executor services that can assist estate executors.

What You Need to Know About Choosing an Executor

If you are a testator wanting to choose the right will executor, you have many options for your choice. Executor services can be carried out by basically anyone, as long as they are not disqualified by law. For example, any one of the following persons may be a chosen will executor for seniors:

  • You may choose your spouse as an executor.
  • You may choose a person to whom you have given property as an executor.
  • You may choose one of your heirs as an executor.
  • You may choose your next of kin, such as a sibling or cousin, as an executor.
  • You may choose any other trusted individual, whether he or she lives inside or outside your county or state, as an executor.

However, when thinking about how to choose a will executor, do not choose someone who will be disqualified from acting on your behalf later. For example, you should not choose a senior will executor who is younger than 18 years old, who has a disability that will hinder the estate execution process or who would otherwise be disqualified by law. You can find a more detailed list of reasons why a person might be disqualified as a will executor by downloading our free guide today.

Much like other important decisions, to choose the right will executor should be a decision made based on trust and a clear, full view of a person. If you do not believe someone is competent to perform will executor services, you should not choose that person to act on your behalf, even if that person is personally close to you. However, this does not mean that the will executor must be capable of handling all responsibilities alone. There are professional executor services that can be contacted by a chosen will executor. These services have experience with helping close out estate affairs after a person passes away. It is a good idea to share a few professional executor services with the administrator that you eventually select so that he or she is aware of available help.

You can also choose a professional executor service to act as your primary executor. These third-party professional executor services are good representatives in certain cases. For example, if there is a good deal of tension and ill-will in your family, you may want to choose a third-party service to handle your estate affairs after you are gone.

Note: You can also name more than one will executor to perform executor services.

How to Put Your Will Executor Choice in Writing

Once you choose the right will executor, you will need to know how to legally name that person or party. The best way to officially choose your senior will executor is to put the choice in writing. In most cases, testators choose a will executor and have lawyers draft their wills to include their choices in the documents. The reason for this is that lawyers know best how to draft a will in such a way that unforeseen loopholes will not stand and the desires of the testator will not be invalidated by misinterpretation of the document. Once you choose the right will executor, and you believe your choice is trustworthy and capable, you should write out your executor or executors along with as much information as you can provide about your estate. Choosing your estate executor ahead of time will save time in the will drafting process when you go to meet with a lawyer. Learn more by downloading our guide.

After you choose the right will executor, you should also write out other information about your choice. For example, a person carrying out executor services on your behalf should be able to read the will and know what he or she is authorized to handle because it has been spelled out. You may want to specify certain responsibilities for your chosen senior will executor and others for another executor in order to spread out duties and not leave any one person overwhelmed with handling your estate. Additionally, you may want to specify in the will after you figure out how to choose a will executor, you have also chosen to waive the bond for that executor. Bonds are required for any executor who has not had the bond waived through a will, and these bonds can be very expensive for a chosen estate executor. Consider waiving the bond so that after you choose the right will executor, you will not have that person turn down the responsibility.