One of the big tasks that you will face if you are creating a will is choosing the right executor. The executor is responsible for taking your estate through the entire Maryland probate process, from the initial act of filing the will with the court through locating and securing assets, paying creditors, distributing assets to beneficiaries and finally closing the estate.
Check their qualifications
This is a big responsibility, and both practical and emotional considerations must be taken into account. First, you should eliminate the people who are clearly not eligible. This includes minors, felons and non-citizens who do not live in the country. Your executor may need to be bonded by the court, and if they have serious financial issues, it can be difficult to get this bond. An executor with financial problems might also be less likely to carry out their fiduciary duty. If you name someone near your own age, such as a spouse, you might want to name a younger second executor in case of the first one’s death.
Look for low-conflict individuals
Emotional considerations are also important. Is this person likely to tamp down family drama, or will they actually ratchet it up? Will they be patient and manage family conflict well? Will you be putting an adult child in an awkward situation with their siblings by naming them as executor? These are all important considerations.
While executors must complete paperwork and carry out other tasks in a timely fashion, they do not have to have a background in the law or finance. In fact, they can hire professionals to assist them with the process, and those professionals can be paid from the estate. What is most important is to choose someone who is trustworthy and who understands your intentions.