Estate planning is vital if you wish to safeguard your interests while you are alive and protect the inheritance you wish to leave to your loved ones. Therefore, you know that it is important to wisely choose an executor or trustee – the person you designate to carry out your wishes with your will or trust. Since this is such an important decision, you and other Californians might benefit by knowing how to choose the best person for the job.
As FindLaw explains, you have your pick of whom to choose as your executor. Most often, executors or trustees are closely related to the principal (you), usually the spouse, adult child or sibling. However, it’s important to understand that you shouldn’t pick just anyone for the task. For example, while it might be more common to choose the eldest child as executor, your firstborn might be irresponsible with money, not get along with his or her siblings or be known to abuse alcohol or drugs. As you can imagine, this kind of personality might be disastrous serving as an executor.
Your best choice would be someone you know is worthy of your trust, as well as honest, organized and willing to follow your wishes. This person should also not be afraid to stand up to the demands of family members who might be unhappy with the terms of the will. Other factors might exclude a family member from serving as your executor, such as being a minor child or having been previously convicted of a felony.
Since choosing your executor is an important life decision, this post should not replace the advice of an attorney.