The New Golden Rule for Choosing Your Executor

Have you put off making your will? Is it because you can’t decide who your executor should be? I can solve that issue for you.

You need to make a will to name your estate executor. Don’t stop reading because you have not made your will yet.

I’ve written a book about how to choose the best executor. This was several years ago and my thinking has since changed. I’ll tell you my new golden rule in a moment. This information will cost you nothing – but it will save your family a ton of trouble.

Make Sure You Name a Backup Estate Executor

Your executor does not have to sign anything to consent to act as your executor. They do not need to receive a copy of your last will. But they do need to know where to find your original last will when the time comes.

Naming a backup executor makes a lot of sense. This is in case your first choice is unable or unwilling to act. Not having back ups to step in immediately can cause months of delay in paying bills and getting access to your investments or bank accounts. Who will take care of your pet, Fluffy, during this delay?

Your first choice of executor may be unable to act because they moved out of the country. Some executors do not want to handle all the tasks which could take at least one year or longer to finish. Perhaps they do not wish to deal with your relatives.

Is family your best choice as executor?

Family members may not charge an executor’s fee. This may be despite executors being entitled to charge compensation by law. If you have been involved in multiple relationships, it may be difficult to choose the right family member.

This may be what happened to the estate of famous music legend, Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. He died leaving his third wife in charge of his estate.

You don’t want to choose a family member as executor only because they will not charge a fee. You don’t need a cheap job. Better to pay family executors for their time and trouble or get a neutral executor.

The New Golden Rule to Choose Your Estate Executor

The new rule for choosing your estate executor is this: the best choice of executor is different for everyone. This the new golden rule. What works for your brother-in-law may not work for you. This is because every family is different. Your needs and your assets are different as well.

You may be single and decide to leave everything to charity. Or, you may have a spendthrift beneficiary or a child with special needs. You could be retired and have no financial issues. You may be running a business without a salary but with creditors.

The golden rule means you should doublecheck your choice of executor. Get independent advice from someone who has no conflict of interest. It’s okay to consult a trust company that sells executor services. They may be capable but not able to give independent advice.

If you need a second opinion about choosing executors, contact me today.

Have questions about choosing executors? Contact me.