Colorado residents entering the estate planning process may wonder how they should choose an executor. An executor is the person who will carry out the instructions and wishes of the deceased, and he or she is usually chosen upon completion of a will. Deciding who will take on this important task can be difficult, but there are a few tips that might make it easier.
The first important tip in estate planning is to choose an executor who is in a good financial position. People with liens against them and individuals who have declared bankruptcy or have no credit history often cannot be bonded, which makes them poor options. Bonding is a form of insurance that serves the purpose of paying the beneficiaries if the executor takes all the estate funds for him or herself. If a bonding company feels someone is a risk, the court will likely not allow that person to be the executor.
Another tip is to avoid choosing an executor who is likely to become enmeshed in family drama. For example, if a pair of siblings does not get along, choosing one as an executor may result in the executor causing delays and hardships for the other sibling. It is important to try to choose an executor who gets along with every beneficiary to prevent manipulation of the estate and court disputes.
Of course, if no friend or family member is a suitable executor, an attorney, accountant or bank can be named as the executor instead. While these parties will generally charge for their services, this route may be better than choosing an executor who is not financially responsible or prone to getting involved in family drama.
Working with an attorney with experience in estate planning may make it easier to choose an executor. A lawyer may be able to help someone explore all the options and provide an objective opinion about each potential executor.