Choosing an executor is an essential part of the estate planning process | Business, finance and technology

Dear Dave: What is an executor and what role does he play in someone’s will? —Gabe

Dear Gabe: Simply put, an executor manages a deceased person’s last will. Acting as an executor is an honor and a huge responsibility. As the designated representative of the deceased, the executor is responsible for ensuring that the deceased’s assets are distributed according to the will. Executors deal with probate court, notify all those who need to know of the death, pay outstanding debt, distribute assets, and generally represent the deceased person when needed.

Think of someone you know who is trustworthy, conscientious, and good at talking to people. This person must also be mature, able to handle life events with composure and have an honest heart. You should also think about where your potential executor lives, as they may end up spending a lot of time working with the courts in your area. If you’re already thinking of someone who meets all of the personal qualifications, but lives out of state, research your state’s requirements for locating an executor. Virtual meetings could be a possibility.

The time required for an executor to attend to your affairs while you are away can be enormous. Depending on the complexity of your estate, this could take months or even years. Once you’ve chosen someone as your executor, be honest with them about all the responsibilities that come with the job. And if you can’t find the right person, you can always hire a professional executor.

Dear Dave: What’s the best way to invest a one-time lump sum of $2,500? My plan is to leave the money alone and let it grow for a long time. — Carol

Dear Carole: Some people play single stocks on one-time investments like this, but I don’t like that idea. Single stock investments don’t consistently generate the kind of returns over long periods of time that a good mutual fund will. Why sell yourself short?

When it comes to investing, I consider 10 years or more to be a long time. That being the case, I would suggest a growth stock or growth and income mutual fund with a solid 10-20 year track record.

I hope that helps. — Dave

Dave Ramsey is a bestselling author, personal finance expert and host of The Ramsey Show. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Today Show, Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and many more. Since 1992, Dave has been helping people regain control of their money, build wealth and improve their lives. He is also CEO of Ramsey Solutions.

Louisa R. Loomis