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5 qualities of a good executor

Choosing an executor can be a daunting task. While your will can include multiple moving parts, finding a trustworthy individual who can act on your requests requires thoughtful consideration.

You may love and care for your family. However, that doesn’t mean all your family members have the skills and character traits needed to carry out your wishes on your terms.

What are the qualities of a good executor?

When choosing an executor, you want someone who is:

  • Financially responsible: Your executor will deal with a lot of your finances, so if they’re handling yours, they should know how to handle theirs. However, your executor doesn’t need to be a financial planner to be financially responsible. They should have good credit, budget-balancing skills and not have any bankruptcies or liens.
  • Calm and resilient: Executors can have their work cut out for them. Managing someone’s estate can be challenging, even if yours isn’t complex. Everything from filing arbitrary court documents to obtaining your house keys can be frustrating and time-consuming for someone, with plenty of opportunities to make mistakes. That’s why it’s crucial to have an executor who can navigate these challenges calmly and persistently.
  • An ethical and objective mediator: Your beneficiaries may have complex emotions and personal interests regarding your will. A good executor can interpret your will objectively and ensure beneficiaries get what they’re entitled to without letting the feelings and agendas of others cloud their judgment.
  • Younger than you: While age is an objective trait, it’s one to carefully consider when selecting an executor. Your executor should outlive you so they can carry out your will. Just make sure they still have all the other desirable traits of a good executor.
  • Healthy: Choosing a healthy executor is just as important as choosing a younger one. If they’re younger than you but have an underlying condition that could put their life at risk, you may want to consider selecting another individual or have a backup executor in place.

Making the final choice requires much consideration

There’s nothing more rewarding than close relationships with family. Yet, those close relationships can complicate how you select your executor. And while the choice can feel difficult, putting your best interests first can help you carry out your legacy once you pass.