Choosing the right executor of your will is probably one of the most important and fundamental decisions you can make in the entire process. It’s true that the actual division of your worldly goods is important, and of concern to your surviving family members, but more important, from a practical standpoint, is choosing the right person to see that the work is done properly.
There’s more to that decision than first meets the eye. For instance, the person you select must be someone you can rely on absolutely to collect all your assets, pay all of your outstanding obligations, and finally, distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries you’ve named, and in accordance with your final wishes.
Most of the time, the executor is asked to do all of these things without compensation, and at least some risk to him or herself. Family squabbles erupt over such divisions all too often, and your executor has to be made of firm enough stuff to weather that storm.
Avoid Conflicts Of Interest
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One of the biggest things you can do to help whomever you select as your executor is ensure that no conflict of interest arises by making your executor someone who is not a beneficiary of your will. It’s easy to see how a person placed in such a position could be accused of taking undue advantage of the situation. Even if it isn’t true, it would be all too easy for something to happen that could easily make it appear that there’s an advantage being taken, and once that suspicion is out in the open, the entire proceeding can degenerate into petty squabbling very quickly.
That’s probably not how you want to be remembered, so it’s best to avoid that if at all possible, or select someone whose credentials are beyond reproach. Someone your family would trust completely to handle the matter without being swayed by the prospect of personal gain.