Which characteristics should an executor have?

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Which characteristics should an executor have?

An executor plays an important role in your estate plan. This person assumes the responsibility of closing your estate at the time of your death.

Considering the number of responsibilities an executor oversees, you will want someone you trust to fill this role. Looking for specific characteristics might improve your confidence that you have found the right person for the job.


The person responsible for closing your estate will handle a lot of sensitive information. This could include access to your bank accounts, investments and other assets. You will want an executor who has integrity and will honor and respect your final wishes. The person you choose should treat you with dignity, as well as show respect and compassion to your family members.

Speaking with your executor ahead of time is a great way to reiterate your intentions. Highlight your wishes for an ethical and timely closing of your estate on behalf of the people you care most about. Discussing your expectations at the start may improve your executor’s understanding.

Attention to detail

Even one missing detail during the closure of your estate can have detrimental consequences. According to CNN, some responsibilities of an executor may include the following:

  • Filing tax returns
  • Processing claims from creditors
  • Distributing your property to heirs

Finding someone with impeccable attention to detail can provide reassurance. Other characteristics that you might also want to look for include organization, patience, financial stability and empathy. Your decision to think carefully about who you name as an executor right now, could be the only reason your surviving family members have a successful outcome later on.