Managing an estate can takes years, thanks to a marriage of timelines and effort. That responsibility will fall on the shoulders of the executor you choose in your will, and it’s crucial that you pen the right name.

The person you name as executor could spend at least two years working with your estate. While many focus on notifying kin and arranging funeral plans, the emotional first steps will soon give way to the fiduciary. This knowledge should play a large role in who you assign to manage your estate.

Balancing tasks

This exercise is mainly with money, so it will benefit everyone to pick someone who is financially literate or is capable of working with professionals. Guidance can make large ground on experience, but either way, your executor will need to handle the assets in your estate.

Practicing probate

Your executor will be responsible for handing out property to beneficiaries, but that’s only a fraction of the fiscal responsibilities you’re assigning. Once everyone is notified that the estate is being processed, the calculator may not go back in the drawer for a long time:

  • Money manager: Your executor will have to spearhead any outstanding money matters with your estate, regardless of complication. Estate taxes, life insurance and investments may seem like a walk in the park after they start to handle liquidation, revocable trusts and limited liability companies. Make sure the executor you’re naming is ready for the homework.
  • Calling creditors: Once notified, creditors will have the opportunity to lay claim to assets. Debts can remain after you’re gone, and your executor will likely have to pay them first and in accordance with your wishes.
  • Ending estates: Even after everyone has been paid, there is still one final step. Your executor will need to finalize the process by closing the estate. It’s the last move to make sure all taxes, beneficiaries and creditors have received their fair share.

It’s essential you keep these requirements in mind when naming your executor. While many family members may want to step up and help, it’s important to make a calculated decision.