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How to Choose the Right Executor for Your Estate

How to Choose the Right Executor for Your Estate

Estate planning is an essential process that many people are not familiar with. It allows you to determine the destination of your assets, as well as to provide for the care of children after your passing. However, you must also choose someone to handle these crucial matters.

This appointed person has a great responsibility to faithfully administer the decedent’s estate according to the state’s laws. Hence, it’s important to choose wisely when deciding on an estate executor. Take a look at these key considerations you need to keep in mind when you choose an executor in Illinois.

What Does an Executor Do?

It can be helpful to first understand precisely what the executor does. The executor’s duty is to settle the financial business of the decedent’s estate to the court’s satisfaction. This entails paying all debts, taxes, and outstanding account balances. It also involves distributing estate assets according to the wishes of the decedent.

These duties are the same for executors throughout Illinois, including DuPage County, Kane County, McHenry County, and the surrounding Chicagoland area.

The Importance of Finding the Right Executor

Finding the right executor for your estate is a step that should not be taken lightly. Your estate will be in the hands of the person you choose, and they will be responsible for making your final wishes come to pass. So, you want to take the time to ensure that you choose someone with the characteristics of a good executor.

Characteristics of a Good Executor

In general, a good executor is a trustworthy adult who you can rely on to follow instructions. Some more specific characteristics of a good executor include:

Willing to Be Your Executor

Before assigning someone the role of executor, make sure to ask them if they are willing to do so and explain what it entails


A faithful person will do their best to follow the law and your wishes to a T when managing your estate


Your choice of executor must also be capable of handling the complex paperwork and duties that accompany the position of executor in a timely manner.


Your executor needs to be free from addiction, such as to drugs, alcohol, or gambling, as the court can reject an executor choice who is not sober.

You also want to choose a person who is a clear communicator and knows how to deal with a wide range of personalities, including difficult ones. Additionally, an adept executor will be proactive and understand how to anticipate problems and nip them in the bud before they become material issues.

Choosing an Unknown Executor

If you do not know someone among your friends, family, or colleagues who could faithfully fulfill the role as executor, you still have options. Corporate trustees are available to fulfill the role of executor, although they cost more than having someone you know take on the role.

The benefit of going with an unfamiliar professional is that your heirs and beneficiaries will likely direct their frustrations at the trustee during probate instead of at one another.

An Estate Planning Lawyer Can Guide You

The importance of choosing the right executor for your estate can not be overstated. If you are in the course of estate planning, an estate planning attorney can help you make the best choice for your particular needs.