How to Choose the Right Executors for Your Estate: Key #4

Imagine you have a daughter, Ann, an accountant, who lives far away on the West Coast. You have another child, Bob, still living at home with you.

Who should be the executor to guard your estate?

Should it be Ann, the accountant, or Bob, who may end up helping you in your old age?

I will help you answer this in a second. But first, can you answer these questions about executors:

• When should you use a corporate or professional executor?

• What is the most important quality to look for in an executor?

• How do you properly prepare your executor?

 Do Your Homework

When you are no longer around, who pays your bills, controls your estate, and ensures that your loved ones get what they need?

This job belongs to your estate’s legal representative, or executor.

Where Should You Look for Them?

You must choose wisely among family, friends, or professionals; otherwise, sadly, someone can end up paying for it.

Here are three key guidelines to consider:

1. Family comes first. Always consider family members first. They are probably your beneficiaries. This means they have an interest in winding up your estate quickly and economically.

2. Consider professionals or a trust company if you:

  • Have assets that require special skills
  • Need someone to operate a business until it is sold
  • Have an estate that may be contested or involved in lawsuits

3. Choose trustworthy executors. Honesty and reliability are the chief criteria in choosing executors. Click to tweet this.

It will be difficult for you to find experienced executors because, after all, most executors learn on the job.

You may not have a clue how to go about choosing the right executor.

People sometimes think this decision is easy, but second marriages and blended families, for example, can cause special challenges.

You can learn more in my special report, Choosing Executors: Your Formula for Success, available instantly.

Attention if you are an executor or will be one: learn about how social changes and legal challenges affect you.

Find out more about the world’s first self-defence guide for executors, Executor Kung Fu: Master Any Estate in Three Easy Steps.

This is my series on Estate Planning: 7 Keys to Success. The next key warns you about the dangers of ignoring your legal obligations.

See my related blog posts and articles:

Choosing Your Executor

Why Executors Need Lawyers

You Will Be Infected with Executor’s Disease™

About Ed

Edward Olkovich (BA, LLB, TEP, C.S.) is a nationally recognized author and estate expert. He is a Toronto estate lawyer and Certified Specialist in Estates and Trusts. Edward has practiced law since 1978 and is the author of seven books. Visit his website,, for more free valuable information.

© Edward Olkovich 2012