Let’s talk about the character traits that you need to look for when you are choosing an Executor for your estate. This person needs to take on the role of an accountant for your estate. They then need to gather up the estate and distribute it according to your wishes. The most obvious trait you will be looking for in your Executor is a person with a head for numbers and one who is organized.
Your Executor will have to keep a detailed record of your entire estate, and also a record of how it was distributed. Keeping notes on paper or a diary won’t be enough. They are accountable to the beneficiaries and will need to provide receipts on request.
Your Executor may be required to hold some of your estate in a trust fund. This means that the need to be good with money and have a sense of how money should and should not be invested. There are so many examples of how this can go wrong, for example, a trustee can steal money from a child’s trust fund. And sometimes the mis-use of a trust-fund can just be an alleged misappropriation rather than an outright theft.
It is important to bear in mind that your Executor may have access to sums of money through your estate that they wouldn’t see on a normal day. Greed can take over your Executor and money can just go missing.
So who should you choose? It is a very personal decision, but the most important trait of all is one whom you can trust. Your entire estate will be handed to that person for distribution as documented in your will. Will this person see it through without taking an unfair fee along the way? Can you trust him or her up to the job?
Most people would appoint their spouse or older children. Your spouse or children can become the Executor even though they are named as beneficiaries. They only cannot sign your will as a witness.
Think carefully and decide.