When Florida residents decide to make an estate plan that covers their assets and estate if they were to pass away, one of the most important decisions to make is choosing the executor. As you are already one step ahead by setting up an estate plan, there are several tips that can keep you from stumbling at the finish line when you know how you want your wishes fulfilled.
According to AARP, you do not need to choose someone who is an expert. While some experience is nice, it is just as important that the person have common sense. You do not need access to someone who knows everything about estate planning, but rather someone who is not afraid to ask questions if they run into something they do not understand.
You may want to use a family member, but consider their age and health before you make the final decision. Will this person be around to act out the wishes of your will or are they likely to pass before or around the same time you do? It may be a good idea to pick someone younger, set up a back-up executor or designate a corporate trustee.
Some people choose to name an entire team of people to execute their will. The benefit to this is that tough decisions are not made by just one person. The downside is that family tensions often play out in emotional, difficult situations. Rather than choosing what is “fair”, focus on what is most likely to keep your family conflict free after you are gone.
No matter who you choose as your executor, you should check back every few years to make sure they are still healthy and willing to handle your estate. If there have been any big changes in your life such as a marriage, divorce or death, it may be time to seek the help of an estate planning attorney.
This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.