Executing an estate plan is one of the most important undertakings you’ll have in life. As you choose which documents to incorporate into your plan, you may also designate certain people for specific duties. For instance, you may wish to designate an executor for your Georgia estate, especially regarding your last will and testament.
Not only is it wise to discuss your intentions with the person you have in mind before adding his or her name to your estate plan, it’s also a good idea to make sure that he or she is a good fit for the duty. There are several things to keep in mind to help you determine this. It’s best to think about such things before you ask someone to be your executor; that way, if you determine that he or she isn’t a good fit, no one’s feelings will be hurt.
It takes an average of 16 months to settle an estate
Even if you do not have any complex issues in your estate plan, it could take more than a year to settle your estate. In choosing an executor, you’ll want to make sure you have someone in mind who is willing to go all in and stick it out for the long haul. In addition, the following list includes other attributes that make a good executor:
- A person who typically keeps important paperwork organized
- Someone who is not bogged down with a lot of personal responsibilities
- Someone who is able to stay calm, if problems arise
In some cases, such as if you have a high net worth estate, which could take several years to settle, you might consider designating co-executors. In such circumstances, you’d want to make certain that the people you choose are able to get along and work together as a team.
Duties that your executor may carry out
It’s important to carefully choose an executor for your estate because he or she will have a lot of responsibility. Some of an executor’s duties include paying off your debts, closing all of your financial accounts, distributing your assets and making sure to carry out the instructions of your last will and testament. If the person you have in mind for the job is easily flustered under stress, it might be best to choose someone else.
Your executor doesn’t necessarily have to be your spouse or another family member. You might designate a trusted friend or a business partner. Whoever you choose, he or she must be age 18 or older and of sound mind. You can even hire a bank, a trust company or other entity to carry out executor responsibilities, if you do not wish to designate a friend or someone in your family.