If there is truly a job that no one wants, it has to be the Executor of an estate. Being the executor requires great time and effort, and it is usually a thankless job.
Mom and Dad, if you are choosing an executor, here are some suggestions, First, I recommend that you select an executor who is up to the challenge, not advanced in age, not a procrastinator, and someone who will have your best interests at heart. Heirs or your children who will receive from the estate are not usually the best choice.
Don’t worry about hurting anyone’s feelings when you make your choice. This is your estate and it must be handled in a manner that is comfortable to you. To do the job well, the executor must put your desires and wishes before anything else.
Help your executor out while you are still living. Prepare your important papers, like your last will and testament, and make sure your executor knows where to find the papers. Be sure to keep them updated every few years.
Besides your important legal papers, does your family know your last wishes? Do they know how you wish to distribute your belongings? Be sure that specific bequests are spelled out in your last will and testament. If you want Susie to receive your china, and you want Frank to receive your books, create a master list of these items to store with your important papers.
Better yet, why not “gift” your possessions while you are still alive? You’ll have the pleasure of seeing the joy on your heirs’ faces when they receive that piece of jewelry or collectible they have always wanted. You’ll also reap the benefit of saving your children from struggles and feuds after you pass away.
© 2010 Julie Hall