As you create your estate plan, you'll soon realize that you have to involve many other people. For example, if you're creating a will, you need to name an executor. And if you're creating a trust, you're required to choose a trustee.
An executor or trustee is the person responsible for carrying out your final wishes, based on the details of your will or trust.
Here are several things you can do to ensure you are making the right decision:
- Make a short list: Don't focus all your time on one person, as this can lead you to make a quick decision that's not necessarily best for you and your estate. Instead, make a list of three to five people who could serve as your executor or trustee.
- Think about their age and health: You want to choose someone who will be around to carry out their responsibilities when you pass on. For this reason, choosing someone your age or younger, who is in good health, is important.
- Review your selection often: At least once a year, you should review your estate plan. If you find that your executor or trustee needs changed, maybe because your first choice is facing a serious illness, don't hesitate to take action.
If you do these things, you'll find it easier to choose an executor or trustee who you can trust to handle everything that comes their way.
This is one of the most important estate planning decisions, so take your time and make your final choice when you're completely sure of yourself.