When it comes to choosing an executor for your estate, it's important to consider the person's financial situation, availability, legal capacity, and emotional stability. It's best to choose someone who is younger than you by at least a decade and who is not a contemporary of yours. You should also make sure that they are willing and able to take on the role of executor. It's smart to consider if the person you have in mind is really the best fit for the job.
If they seem indecisive, reluctant or selfless, it may be best to name someone else. You may want to consider a professional such as a lawyer, accountant or corporate trustee. Most people choose a close family member because they know them better. When selecting an executor, you should also think about the logistics of having co-executors.
If there is more than one executor, the will can specify whether most or all of the trustees must agree on the decisions to be made. Additionally, you should be aware that a person under the age of 18 may be named executor in a will, but they will not have the right to request succession until they turn 18. It's important to let your chosen executor know your wishes in advance and make sure that they are comfortable in that position. You may also want to consider compensating them for their work as a way of thanking them. Having a professional executor or alternate can help ensure that there is an executor in place when it comes time to act. Tracey Woo, director of the professional practice group in the Royal Trust division of RBC Wealth Management in Toronto, often points out the disadvantages associated with choosing an executor.
She suggests that if the will is complex or if significant time is required in court, an executor may want to hire an estate attorney to assist in the management of the estate. By following these tips and considering all of these factors when selecting an executor for your estate, you can make sure that your wishes are carried out efficiently and conflict-free.