What attributes should you avoid when picking your estate’s executor?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2021 | Estate Planning

Glance through any estate planning guide, and you’ll see plenty of information about what attributes a good executor should have, including things like trustworthiness, intelligence and organizational skills.

But what attributes automatically make someone a poor choice for the executor of someone’s estate? Here is some information you need to consider as you make your plans.

What responsibilities do executors have?

Your executor has two primary roles. One is to handle your final affairs, such as settling with creditors and filing your final tax return. Your executor may also need to liquidate your property, preserve the value of your assets and even file lawsuits on your behalf. This is why it’s best to select someone who’s punctual, responsible and organized to assume this role. 

Are there attributes executors shouldn’t have?

The more diligent you are in selecting an executor, the more smoothly the probate process will go. Here are some common mistakes people make when choosing their executors:

  • Picking out-of-state residents: Nevada doesn’t require executors to be area residents unless an individual dies intestate (without a will). State laws do require out-of-state executors to join with a local resident in such instances, though. Selecting a Nevada resident may make more sense since they’ll likely need to regularly visit the courthouse and other local places.
  • Appointing an uncreditworthy individual: You should avoid picking someone who you know has previously filed bankruptcy, is judgment proof or who has a low credit score as your executor. The court may require this individual to be bonded, and the companies that do this may see bonding your designee as a financial liability risk.
  • Picking an equally-aged peer: It’s always best to select an executor who is younger and thus more likely to outlive you so that there isn’t a need to appoint a new one, especially during the probate process, as this could cause delays.
  • Choosing someone with a criminal record: Nevada law excludes anyone who has a felony conviction on their record from serving as executor, except under rare circumstances. 

Picking an executor can be difficult if you don’t know all that many people or no one meets Nevada’s requirements. Reaching out for help with your estate plans can make the process easier.