When a loved one passes, you might get contacted by their lawyer that says the deceased chose you to be the executor. While this might come as a surprise to you, what surprises some people even more is that they have a choice. You should think long and hard before you agree to be the executor as it has a lot of responsibilities tied to it.
Do you have the right skills?
Sure, your loved one or friend might have seen the proper skills in you, but you might not be as confident. A good estate executor is very honest, trustworthy, and detail-oriented. You must be patient, have good communication skills, and be organized throughout the entire process. If you don't have sufficient time in your schedule to dedicate to handling the estate details, or you are not confident in your financial or organizational skills at this time in your life, you might want to think twice about accepting the job of executor.
Are you aware of how complex the estate is?
Some estates are very simple to be the executor of, with straightforward details to iron out. Others are much more involved and take even more time and research to handle appropriately. If your loved one had a lot of wealth and possessions, with multiple accounts and beneficiaries, it might be too much work for you to handle. While this isn't necessarily a reason to not accept job as executor, you should consider your personal situation compared to what it will be like handling details of the estate before you accept the job.
What is your current stress level?
Being an executor is sometimes a stressful and emotional experience. You may become overwhelmed with handling the estate, while also mourning the loss of your loved one. If you are already in a sensitive state due to marriage troubles, your own financial troubles, or extreme work stress, now might not be the best time to be an executor. On the other hand, if your life is relatively quiet and going along smoothly, now might be the perfect time.
Who else can be executor?
In many cases, the fact that there is really nobody else who knows the deceased well enough or can be trusted to handle the estate will be the reason you accept the job. While you shouldn't accept it only for this reason, it is definitely something to think about. Go over the reasons why you think your loved one chose you above other people. It might just be that you are the best suited for the responsibility. Talk with someone such as the Sproule Gordon law firm for more tips about deciding whether or not you will accept the role of executor.
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