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How to choose an executor for a will

Texas residents who are creating a will also need to choose an executor. The executor is the person who deals with paying bills, finding and distributing assets and other tasks associated with managing the estate. Therefore, it is important to choose the right person for this role.

The executor does not have to have a background in financial and legal matters but should be responsible and know how to hire experts from those areas if necessary. A professional, such as an accountant or attorney, can act as executor although this can be costly. The person should also be in good financial standing. Some people may want to appoint a younger, alternate executor in case the first one cannot perform the duties, dies or does not want the responsibility.

An executor does not have to live nearby the testator, and many of the duties can be done from a distance. However, the court might not approve an executor with a criminal record or one over whom the court has no jurisdiction, such as a non-citizen living abroad. The executor should be someone who can manage family drama rather than contributing to it and should be emotionally mature and patient.

An attorney may assist a person in estate administration and probate. This could be the case if there are no major issues with the estate, but in some cases, an estate might also end up in litigation. This could happen if family members challenge the will. A will might be challenged if some family members feel the person was unduly influenced by another individual in creating it. It might also be challenged by a family member who is unhappy at being left out of the will or with how assets are distributed.

Source: Kiplinger, "7 Tips for Choosing the Right Executor", Daniel A. Timins, Aug. 8, 2017

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