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How Should You Choose an Executor for Your Will?

Judith Trentman Wilson, Attorney at Law, P.C. July 19, 2019

When you are writing your will, one of the things you have to consider is who you want to appoint as your executor. The executor is the person who will manage your estate after you pass away and help ensure your property goes to your heirs according to your wishes. Illinois state law requires an executor to be a U.S. resident, but he or she does not need to live in Illinois.

There are several essential considerations to think about when choosing an executor. In many cases, being an executor requires a significant amount of time and administrative work. Sometimes it may take years to finalize all the aspects of an estate, so it is vital to make sure the person you choose as your executor is willing to commit to the task.

The AARP provides additional recommendations to help you choose a good executor. If you know someone who is familiar with wills and estate issues, you may want to consider naming him or her. However, expertise is not necessary. In many cases, it is more important to choose someone who is trustworthy and has common sense.

You may immediately think about naming a family member, such as a child, spouse or sibling, as your executor. While there are some benefits to this arrangement, especially if you have a solid relationship with your executor, there are potential disadvantages as well. It could place an additional strain on a loved one who is already struggling with your death. It may also lead to strife within your family. You may want to name a close friend as your executor to prevent family conflicts.

This general information on wills and executors is intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.