There is no straightforward answer, as it depends on the situation and your relationship with your spouse. But you may want to ask yourself, is your spouse up to the challenge?
An executor of an estate is responsible for your entire estate when you are gone. They handle the legal intricacies of gathering or closing accounts and distributing property. On top of that, they also manage financial matters, such as paying debt and filing final income tax returns. Your chosen estate representative must make absolute certain that the beneficiaries receive all the inheritances you granted to them and organize these through detailed accounting measures. To put it bluntly, it is not an easy job.
What should I look for in an executor?
Whether you choose a loved one, family member or hire a professional, you should always keep in mind that your decision must be in the best interests of your beneficiaries. Here are characteristics you should look for when appointing an executor:
- They should be honest and trustworthy
- They should be eligible and qualified
- They should be responsible and highly organized
- They should be someone who will not challenge other beneficiaries
- They should be someone who will not contest your provisions
- They should have the communication skills necessary to execute your wishes
- They should know how to keep things civil and peaceful
When choosing an executor, experience is also a necessary characteristic to have. You may want to consider hiring a professional with a thorough understanding of estate administration.
When you leave, they will grieve
Losing a spouse or family member is such a painful ordeal. Grieving and processing the loss should be the only thing on their minds. Before deciding who will be the executor, put yourself in their position to see if it will be beneficial or detrimental.