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What should you look for when selecting an executor of an estate?

One of the first decisions that you'll have to make during the estate planning process is deciding who you want to serve as executor. While you may be inclined to appoint a family member to this role, doing so can sometimes cause more harm than good. Some may choose to appoint a good friend, attorney or financial planner, depending on their jurisdiction's laws. Whomever you choose should have certain attributes.

You'll want the person that you appoint to be the executor of your estate to first and foremost be an honest, reliable individual. They'll be the one to collect and distribute your assets and pay your final expenses. The person that you choose should be someone that you feel confident can keep your financial secrets private.

Another attribute that you'll want to look for in an executor of your estate is someone who is savvy in handling investments. This is particularly important as that individual will be responsible not only for inventorying your assets, but insuring that they maintain their value until they're allowed to distribute them to your beneficiaries.

The executor will also need to be a strong-willed individual as it's inevitable that individuals or creditors will attempt to make false claims to the estate. It will be important for them to be strong-willed as they interact with beneficiaries including family members as well.

An executor will also need to be fair, firm balanced and someone capable of making diplomatic decisions as they interact with beneficiaries. They'll need to be able to make ones that are aligned with your final wishes and that are in the best interests of the estate.

When you appoint someone to this role, you'll want to make sure to appoint someone that has availability to manage your estate for as long as a year after your death. You'll want the person to be detail-oriented as well.

If you're having difficulty in deciding who might be best suited to serve as the executor of your estate, then you may benefit from learning more about what their responsibilities would be. A Queens estate planning attorney can walk both you and your prospective executor through what would be expected of them to see if they're confident that they could handle what's being asked of them.

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