In your will, you usually designate someone as the executor, personal representative or administrator of your estate. This is an important role. Therefore, you must choose who will take it on carefully.
First: Know your options
Most people may choose a family member or even a close friend to serve as the executor of their will. However, those are not your only options. You may also assign the role to an attorney or another professional, such as an accountant, if you so choose.
Qualities to look for in your executor
No matter who you choose for this role, it is helpful to consider specific characteristics and qualities when assigning it. Some of the most critical ones to look for include:
- Trustworthiness: This is arguably the most important factor to consider. You will essentially entrust this person with managing your assets and finances after you pass away. They will also be responsible for distributing assets to your beneficiaries. That is why the executor or personal representative must be someone you can trust.
- Organizational skills: Administering an estate and managing probate in California will require the executor to meet specific deadlines and handle a significant amount of paperwork. So, you will want to choose someone who can manage their time efficiently and has excellent organizational skills.
- Emotional intelligence: Estate administration can be a stressful process due to the logistics and finances. However, it can also be challenging for families as they process the loss of their loved one. Someone with high emotional intelligence can empathize with your family and the grieving process. They are also often good communicators, which will be key in probate.
- Financial sense: Whether they are good with numbers or good with money, it can be beneficial to choose an executor or personal representative who can manage money well. After all, they will be managing all of your assets.
You may know exactly who you will choose to manage and administer your estate when you begin to create your estate plan. Or, you may have many people to choose from. Regardless, it can be helpful to consider these qualities to help you make the choice that is best for you and your family.