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Choose an executor who has common sense and good judgment

When the time comes for you to choose an executor for your estate, give the matter some careful thought. You want to make sure he or she will act according to your wishes and in the best interests of your beneficiaries.

The wrong executor can be a disruption to the family, create legal entanglements and even siphon funds out of the estate for personal gain. Consequently, it is easy to see how a level-headed individual with good business sense would be a leading candidate for the job.

Know the responsibilities

In a nutshell, the primary responsibility of the executor is to protect the assets of your estate until their distribution is complete. When you choose a person with common sense and good judgment, he or she will know when to contact your attorney, touch base with any experts necessary, pay your bills, prepare your last tax return and manage your final affairs with honesty and integrity.

Ensure availability

When you are naming an executor, your first choice may be someone who has ideal credentials, someone honest and trustworthy with an excellent business sense. There could be a problem, however. Such a person may be at least 20 years older than you are and thus may not be around when you pass on. Age is a consideration.  Make sure that the executor you select is young enough to serve in this position when the time comes.

Provide information to the executor

Let your executor know where your important papers are located: your will, in particular, and, if applicable, trust documents. Chances are the attorney who prepared the will has a list of your assets, such as bank accounts, savings and investment information, real property, collectibles and business holdings. Make sure your executor has your attorney's contact information. Once you have taken care of these details, you can relax. If the person you choose has sound judgment and common sense, you need have no qualms about the way the executor will manage your estate and carry out your final wishes.

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