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What qualities does an estate executor need?

On Behalf of | Aug 8, 2023 | Estate Planning

Asking someone to execute your estate is asking a lot of them, far more than many of the favors you may typically ask of friends or family.

While your estate can compensate them for their time, it is a relatively small amount given the work involved. Hence, you may be reluctant to ask anyone other than your nearest and dearest. Yet that could be a mistake if they do not have the qualities the role requires. Let’s look at what those are:

Good communication skills

The executor will have to deal with everyone from beneficiaries to officials to companies you die owing money to. Not everyone will be calm and patient, but the executor cannot just ignore them. They need to deal with their questions and show transparency and fairness.

Well organized

Think about the people you have in mind. Are they always on time for things or do they constantly turn up late? Is their desk a pile of papers or is it neatly ordered? These can give you clues as to how organized they will be when acting as executor.


Ideally, you want someone local to you, because they may need to deal with people in your area to execute the estate. For example, going to the local probate court or meeting with your attorney or your financial manager.

There also needs to be a good chance that they will outlive you and still be capable of performing the role when you die.


Make sure you do not put any pressure on someone to take the role. Allow them plenty of time to consider whether they will accept the role or not. Once you have someone’s agreement, your next step is to learn how to make it official.