Who Should be the Executor of Your Estate?

By Stephen J. Silverberg
New York Elder Law Attorney

Choosing the executor of your estate is usually a difficult decision. You want it to be someone you know and trust. But you also need a person who can carry out the necessary tasks, is willing and able to tackle this sometimes challenging responsibility and who knows your own personal situation. A recent article, “How to find an estate plan executor outside of your immediate family,” explains how to find an executor if you don’t know any one person who meets these three criteria.

You do have options.

If you can’t think of any readily obvious choices that you believe would be a good fit, expand your thinking. Do you have an adult grandchild who might be a possibility? Or do you have a close relationship with the adult child of a close friend who’d be able to carry out the tasks of executor.

Be sure that whoever you chose has common sense along with some financial or legal knowledge and who is familiar with your wishes, even if they’re not a member of your immediate family. They should also not be afraid to seek help from an experienced estate planning attorney.

There are some alternatives to working with an individual. If finding an individual you trust and is willing and able to serve as an executor for your estate is impossible, then you may consider engaging a third party to serve as your executor. That could include an estate planning attorney.

About the Author
Stephen J. Silverberg is nationally recognized as a leader in the areas of estate planning, estate administration, asset preservation planning, and elder law. He is a past president of the prestigious National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), and a founding member and past president of the New York State chapter of NAELA.