Frustrated Businesswoman on the Phone

Being named an executor brings responsibility and stress. It is a position that should be filled carefully.

Executors often have to deal with contending creditors, heirs, family members who are not heirs, financial institutions and more. A recent headline highlights the situation in the Globe and Mail which reads “Being executor of a will likely ‘most stressful experience you’ll ever have’.”

Executors have to be very meticulous and careful to make sure the assets of the estate are properly distributed and that the executor is not held personally liable for any mistakes.

It is for these reasons that the article suggests three things you should do before designating someone to be the executor of your estate:

  • Pick someone who can handle the job. An executor needs to be able handle the stress. He or she needs to have the necessary skills to handle the estate’s assets. The executor also must have the time to manage the estate.
  • Pick someone who lives in the area. Executors will be required to attend multiple court hearings. They need to live close enough so attending the hearings does not create an undue burden on them.
  • Tell the person you wish to designate before actually making the designation. Being an executor is a difficult job. That should not come as a surprise.

An executor should consider seeking the assistance of an estate planning attorney because an executor does not need to administer the estate entirely on their own. The attorney can make sure everything is done properly which will go far in easing the responsibilities of your executor.

Reference: Globe and Mail (Jan. 13, 2016) “Being executor of a will likely ‘most stressful experience you’ll ever have’.”

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.