A will contains important information regarding the handling of your estate after you pass away. In addition to specifying which of your beneficiaries will be receiving which assets, you will need to name an executor to manage your affairs. The person you choose will have a great deal of responsibility, so it is important to choose the right person. An estate planning attorney can help advise you as you go through this process.
Who can serve as an executor?
Any adult who is at least 18 years of age and of sound mind (not legally incapacitated) and does not have a felony on your record can serve as an executor in the state of Massachusetts.
What to consider when choosing an executor
Choosing an executor for your estate can be a difficult decision that will have wide ranging impact on the members of a family. Some of the best ideas for choosing an executor are that you must be able to trust that individual, and that they will clearly execute the wishes of the decedent or deceased.
You should also choose someone who is able and willing to handle the extensive paperwork that comes with being an executor. In addition to making sure the assets are distributed according to the decedent’s wishes, the executor will also have to track estate assets, pay bills, file taxes and pay off debts on behalf of the estate. They may also have to manage conflicts involving beneficiaries and creditors.
Who should I choose?
Historically, many people have chosen a trusted family member or friend to serve as executor of their estates. However, when money becomes involved in disputes, family members can make irrational decisions. That is why, nowadays, many people opt for a neutral, unbiased third-party executor, such as a bank or law firm. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide who can handle all the responsibilities that come with being an executor most effectively.