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How can I choose an executor for my estate?

The executor of your estate will be responsible for many essential duties after you’re gone. From settling outstanding debts to ensuring your heirs receive your assets, the duties of an executor are often quite complex. That’s why picking the right candidate is so important, and AARP offers guidance on how you can do just that.

Consider age and state of health

From a practical perspective, you should look for a person that is younger than you and in good health generally. Even the most accomplished executor will be of little help to your estate if he or she is not available when the time comes. You can also choose one or two back-up executors just in case, which will ensure that your estate will be administered competently.

Revisit your choice on a regular basis

Life changes can also impact your initial selection. A new marriage, divorce, or chronic illness might mean that your executor is no longer able to do the job. That’s why all estate planning professionals urge their clients to revisit these plans time and time again. Even if no major changes have occurred, review your decisions once a year or so to make sure they still bodes well for you.

Look for someone with common sense

A smart, competent person is your best bet for an executor. This person doesn’t need to have extensive business acumen provided he or she has ample common sense. Outside help is always available when it comes to estate administration, and you want your pick to be able to recognize when this help is needed. Also, look for someone who makes conservative decisions about your money to ensure your estate remains intact after you’re gone.

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