Someone who asks you to be the executor of his or her will is trusting you with a big responsibility. However honored you may be, you should be honest with both yourself and the testator about whether you are able to take it on.
If you are unsure whether you are ready to take on the responsibility to be the executor of someone’s will, here are some questions to ask yourself.
Are you qualified to serve as an executor?
There are few eligibility requirements you need to meet to serve as the executor of a will. You must be at least 18 years old, but young adults do not always have the maturity to handle the responsibility.
According to Kiplinger, executors need the court’s approval, and courts tend not to approve people with a history of felony conviction or non-U.S. citizens who live outside the United States. If you feel there is anything in your past that could disqualify you, you owe it to the testator to be upfront and honest about it.
Are you in good financial standing?
You do not need to be a financial expert to be an executor. However, you should be in good financial standing, meaning that you have not declared bankruptcy and have a solid, verifiable credit history.
Courts often require that the executor have insurance from a bonding company that will pay the beneficiaries in the event that the executor absconds with the funds. Your financial standing is a factor in the decision whether or not to bond you.
The executor of a will should also have certain personal qualities, such as patience and emotional stability. If you feel you have the necessary qualifications but are not sure about the expectations, keep in mind that you can ask for help. The primary responsibility is yours, but you do not have to handle everything alone.