Part of estate planning is choosing the right executor

Every good ship needs a skilled captain; every expedition needs a knowledgeable guide. Moreover, every will needs a capable executor. In order to be effective, a will must be carefully thought out and put together, but all the best estate planning could go out the window if the executor is not able to administer the estate. Here are some tips for choosing an executor in Alberta.

Perhaps the single most important characteristic of a good executor is trustworthiness. The person one chooses as executor will be responsible for the distribution of one’s estate, and that is a very important task. Failure to do the job with honesty and integrity can undo carefully made plans and cause upset among the beneficiaries.

It is also important to choose someone who is willing to take the position. Administering an estate is a big commitment, and can take as long as a year or more to complete. Rather than assume the person one chooses will accept the role, it may be better to ask first, and not risk having him or decline the position after it is too late for the testator to choose someone else.

Many people appoint their spouse as executor, and there are advantages to doing so. No one knows one’s own mind better than his or her spouse, should confusion arise. It may be wise to appoint a co-executor, however, to assist; administering an estate during a time of extreme grief can be overwhelming, and a grieving executor may appreciate the help.

Estate planning is an important task for every man and woman in Alberta. When deciding who gets what from one’s estate, take time to consider who would be best to see to the execution of the will. A lawyer can help during this and every stage of estate planning.

Source:, “Choosing the right executor for your estate“, Noel D’souza, Accessed on April 24, 2017

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