What factors should I consider when choosing an executor?

by | Mar 14, 2017 | Firm News |

It is not enough for you to leave behind a will to explain how to handle your assets when you die. Choosing the right person to serve as your estate’s executor is just as important as estate planning. Too often people in East Hanover fail to give this matter the attention it deserves, only to end up with complications that interfere with their final wishes. Before you choose an executor for your estate, you should take some things into consideration.


Your estate plans are instructions for your business affairs and assets. They dictate how they should be handled once you become incapacitated or die. The person you chose to handle your estate is responsible for paying your debts, distributing your assets and handling all your probate affairs. You need someone you can trust to follow your final instructions and handle your affairs correctly, even if they do not agree with them. If you choose a person who is untrustworthy and does not have your best interests at heart, you risk having your estate plans altered and mismanaged.

Responsibility and time

Managing an estate is a serious responsibility and requires lots of flexibility and time. Your executor is acting in your stead. This individual should have good communication, time management and organization skills. Estate administrators need to communicate with many different people regarding your estate. They should be capable of following up with all correspondence, maintaining relationships with your heirs and all legally interested parties, and managing your affairs properly and efficiently.

If you have a large estate, you should not choose a person who works a full-time job and has a family. To manage a large estate properly, your choice for executor must have the time and energy to commit to the role. A person who has many other obligations is not necessarily capable of giving matters involving your estate the attention they require.


When there are heirs, beneficiaries, family members and assets involved, things can turn ugly fast. Arguments, conflicts and disputes are likely to occur. You want a person who is capable of remaining neutral in the face of adversity and of navigating through any conflicts and challenges that arise to ensure an outcome that matches your intent prevails.

It is beneficial for you to choose several people that meet these qualifications to serve as successor executors. If your original choice for executor declines the opportunity or dies, your choice for successor executor is capable of managing your estate affairs they way you specified. If you are planning your estate and have concerns regarding it or your executor options, you should speak with an attorney for guidance.