Who should be the executor of my estate?

  1. Executor’s Duties
    Keep in mind when choosing an executor that he or she will have the following responsibilities:

    1. to execute all documents and attend any hearings necessary to probate the estate (usually with the assistance of a probate attorney);
    2. to collect and gather together all of the assets of the estate and, if necessary, to sell some or all of the assets;
    3. to pay all debts, taxes, and funeral expenses;
    4. to distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will; and
    5. to file any tax return and/or other documents required on behalf of the estate (often with the assistance of a CPA).
  2. How to Choose your Executor
    1. You should always name one or more successor executors in case your original choice cannot serve or is not willing to serve.
    2. Typically married couples name each other as the first choice for executor.
    3. Your second, third, and fourth choices could be one of your parents or siblings, an adult child, or even a close personal friend.
    4. It is best to have at least one successor executor who is approximately your age or younger so that there is a good chance he or she will survive you.
    5. Although it is usually easier to have an executor who lives in or near the same geographic area where you live, it is not a requirement.
    6. Many wills provide that executors are entitled to compensation from the estate for their efforts, plus reimbursement of any expenses, including the fees of any professional hired to assist them.
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