When you visit a will attorney near Houston, you’ll need to make many more decisions than just figuring out how to divide your property after your death. You’ll also need to designate an executor of your will. The executor of a will has many important responsibilities, including gathering assets, assessing debts and other claims, paying taxes, and distributing the estate. It is largely a thankless job that requires careful attention to detail, persistence, and patience, so be sure to select an executor who is up to the task.
The Available Choices
Make a list of your available choices. Many people choose a close family member to be the executor of their will. Other possibilities include more distant relatives, friends, or professional executors. It is possible to choose more than one executor. These may be co-executors, who will share the responsibilities of the position. It’s a smart idea to choose one or more back-up executors in case the original executor is incapable of or chooses not to carry out these responsibilities.
The Individual’s Credentials
As you narrow down your list of possible executors, consider the credentials of each. It is helpful, though not required, for an executor of a will to have a legal background or a background in accounting. Failing this, it’s wise to choose someone who has earned a college degree, although this is not a mandatory requirement.
The Individual’s Age and Health
It’s necessary for your executor or back-up executor to outlive you. Consider the age and overall health of the individual you’re thinking of choosing. Of course, a generally healthy individual may later experience drastic medical setbacks that render him or her incapable of fulfilling the tasks of the role. When major life changes occur, you can revisit your executor designation and change it if need be. Changing your executor may also be necessary in the case of divorce or estrangement.
The Individual’s Personal Preferences
An executor of a will may face a long, tedious process. Many people simply don’t want the responsibility. When you’ve narrowed down your list to a few possibilities, approach these individuals and ask if they would be willing to be your executor, co-executor, or back-up executor.