How do you know if you should accept an executor role?

by | Sep 30, 2021 | Estate Planning

If someone wants to appoint you as executor, you may feel a sense of honor. After all, a person has to trust his or her executor.

Before you accept the role, AARP suggests you consider whether you fit the role.

Can you dedicate the time?

Sometimes how busy you are matters. While you may believe that becoming an executor means you will prioritize your loved one’s affairs, you may not be able to. Think about your duties and obligations. If you have children, will you help care for them while you make trips to courthouses and phone calls? Can you take time from your job to handle the role?

Will you be able to handle the process?

Some people do not have the temperament to be an executor. You have to consider whether you can handle it. For example, if you have difficulty processing emotions and become easily overwhelmed, you may need to pass the role to someone else. However, suppose you know how to handle a lot of responsibility without becoming too stressed, mainly when you may also experience a lot of grief. In that case, you may want to agree to the role.

Do you have the experience or knowledge?

You will have specific rules to follow as an executor. You have the responsibility of funeral expenses, filing estate tax returns and publishing death notifications. If you do not know these areas, there are professionals to help you, but you do not want to enter into the role if you do not have the skills necessary to perform your duties.

For example, executors need organizational skills and should communicate effectively with different types of people. If you have difficulty with finances or balancing your checkbook, this could become problematic.