The Ins and Outs of Choosing an Executor for Your Estate Plan

Choosing an executor for your estate plan isn’t an easy task – often, we’re inundated with emotions that tell us to pick the one who deserves it or the one who wants it most. Although you may be tempted to give the job to your closest loved one, picking an executor should be much more of a qualitative decision. The management and administration of your estate is a very important job, so you’ll need to choose the right person to ensure everything goes smoothly. 

What Is an Executor?

An executor is someone who will manage the assets of your estate, which consists of collecting and documenting them, as well as ensuring they’re properly distributed to your beneficiaries. Your executor can also be a trustee, who will complete similar tasks for any trusts you may have included in your estate plan. An agent, on the other hand, is someone who acts on your behalf during your life, most often in cases of power of attorney. 

Most importantly, these positions are considered fiduciary appointments – meaning that the people who fill them hold a legal obligation to act in good faith and follow the guidelines provided by the estate plan. A fiduciary who acts in bad faith can, in fact, be held legally liable for their actions. In Texas, an executor must be at least 18 years old, and must not be a felon or have a conflict of interest. Ensuring that you have the right executor for your estate plan goes much further than merely fulfilling these requirements, however.

How to Pick the Right One 

The right person to fulfill the job of an executor is primarily someone who is responsible. They should be able to follow the details of your plan to the letter and in a prompt manner. The executor must also be willing to do the job – you cannot force anyone into being your executor, and when it becomes necessary for them to step in, they will have the option of declining. Therefore, it’s crucial that they have the time and ability to properly administer your estate. If it’s an inconvenient time for your primary executor, and they decline the job, you don’t want to be left without one. For this reason, it’s important that you name a successor executor as well.

Our team at Albright & Lumpkin, PC is ready to get started on a trust that works for you. We can assist in the process of selecting the right executor, as well as any additional agents or trustees that your plan may require. Contact us at (713) 455-6661 or through our website today to get started.

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