Naming beneficiaries is a critical aspect of creating your estate plan. It is also necessary to name someone to settle your estate’s outstanding financial obligations, schedule your will’s probate hearing and distribute your assets according to your wishes.
These are some tips to help you choose an executor to handle these tasks.
Review the state guidelines
Knowing who qualifies to be your estate’s executor will increase the likelihood that the probate court will approve your selection. The state disqualifies candidates who:
- Are under 18 years old
- Are mentally incompetent
- Have a state or federal felony conviction
Also, if you name an executor who lives out of state, you must have a co-executor who is an Indiana resident. Otherwise, non-resident executors must post a bond which they may forfeit through failure to perform their duties.
Choose Someone With Common Sense
Settling your estate involves clear communication between the executor and beneficiaries. An executor who practices discretion when sharing information with beneficiaries can prevent unnecessary conflicts.
Choose Someone With Good Health and Stamina
Name an executor who has the stamina to juggle the demands of your estate with other life responsibilities. Also, choosing a successor to replace an executor who pre-deceases you will prevent delays in settling your estate.
Choose Some Who Is Financially Stable
Anyone with a history of bankruptcy, poor credit, or insufficient resources may mismanage your estate or fail to meet the bond provisions your will or the state imposes.
Choose Someone Neutral
Relatives who serve as executors should not allow family conflicts to cloud their judgment. Therefore, choosing someone with integrity who can act dispassionately will benefit everyone.
Don’t forget to confirm a candidate’s willingness to serve as the executor of your estate to avoid relying on the court to fill this vital role.