How to Choose an Executor for Your Will

Wills | October 21, 2021

When it comes to wills and the distribution of your estate after your passing, an executor plays a vital role. While choosing the right executor can help to ensure that your estate is distributed in the manner you wish, the wrong executor can cause conflicts or estate disputes amongst your loved ones. As experts in wills, estates, and trust law, the team at Linley Welwood knows how important an executor is for every will. That is why our team has provided some information to help you understand how to choose an executor for your will.

Learn about what an executor can and cannot do.

What is an Executor?

An executor is an individual who is responsible for protecting and administering your estate after your passing. After paying off your debts and sorting out your finances, they will then distribute the rest of your estate according to the instructions within your will. A significant amount of time and effort is required to carry out the duties of an executor. An executor may need to make decisions on behalf of the deceased in some instances, especially if the instructions in your will are vague or left up to interpretation. Executors must be impartial and act to ensure that all beneficiaries receive what is owed to them according to the instructions in your will.

Regardless of the size or complexity of your estate, an executor must be named in your will. If one is not named, a family member will need to apply to perform this role. It may also be worth naming a second or backup executor if your first choice becomes ineligible or decides to step down.

What is a trust and when it is useful?

Who Should be Chosen as an Executor?

Family members or close friends tend to be the most common choices for executors. These family members include spouses, children, grandchildren, siblings, cousins, and parents. Your executor should be someone that:

  1. You trust to reliably manage your affairs and follow your wishes.
  2. Understands your family dynamics and how to deal with difficult situations that may arise between family members.
  3. Is financially responsible and can be trusted with making important decisions on your behalf.
  4. Can handle the stress and responsibilities associated with being an executor.
  5. Is likely to live longer than you.

Choosing an individual with these qualities is crucial for ensuring that your wishes are respected and acted on.

Should you set up an alter ego trust?

For assistance choosing an executor or to learn more about wills, estates, and trust law, get in touch with the experts at Linley Welwood. We can be reached at 604-850-6640 and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your will or estate.

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