The executor of your will is responsible for managing your estate once you are gone. They identify, collect and manage the assets pending distribution to your beneficiaries. An executor is also charged with paying any outstanding debts, taxes, or other liabilities owed and ultimately passing the estate over to your heirs as per your wishes.
There are usually no specific considerations on who can act as an executor of your will. You can choose whoever you want to act as an executor as long as they are above 18 and legally competent. However, New York laws prohibit certain individuals from serving as executors. They may include:
- Individuals who are unable to read or right
- A person convicted of a felony for a crime that would negatively affect the estate, such as embezzlement
- Persons who don’t possess fiduciary qualifications due to substance abuse, dishonesty, among other reasons.
Qualities to look out when choosing an executor
Many people turn to family members to act as an executor, which is fine. However, you may need to look at individual traits before settling on anyone. Qualities to look out for border on trust, honesty, and integrity. You want someone who will act in your best interests and carry out your wishes to the letter.
In addition, they should be impartial and able to resolve any disputes that may arise among your beneficiaries. While you may also want a financially savvy executor, it is not a hard requirement since they may get professional help in managing your estate’s finances or investments.
Choosing the right executor is very crucial
Since the executor will be acting on your behalf, it is essential to get the right person for the job. If you think no one fits the bill, it is important to be aware of your options to make the right decision. Then, you will rest easy and have peace of mind knowing that your estate succession plans are in safe hands.