Choosing an executor is an essential part of the estate planning process – Post Bulletin
Dear Dave – What is an executor and what role does he play in someone’s will? —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 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.
If you are unable to find a suitable person, you can always hire a professional executor.
Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert, bestselling author and the host of the nationally broadcast radio show “The Dave Ramsey Show”, which airs locally on KROC-AM. For more financial advice, visit