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Tips for picking executors without immediate family

Most people name a trusted child or spouse as executor of their will, but not everyone has this option. Many Ontario residents need to name executors even without close immediate family. When deciding who to choose as an executor, there are several factors to consider.

The first thing to consider when picking an executor is the individual's skill set. Executors should be honest, dependable, well organized, skilled at paperwork and good at meeting deadlines. Ideally, an executor will reside in the same province as the person whose will they will be executing. This will make it easier for the individual to oversee certain things, such as probate hearings and selling off property in the estate.

Picking an executor who is younger and in good health is usually a good idea, as this increases the likelihood that the person will be around to complete the necessary duties. Those who do not know anyone that would fit this description may name a third party executor. This could be a bank, trust company or estate administration professional. A third party executor would also come with fees, which could be a percentage of the estate or a flat fee.

Before naming an executor in a will, it is important to discuss the decision with the person in question. Executors are responsible for many things, and should be able to consent to these tasks by agreeing to take the role. It is a good idea to go over estate planning and financial documents with the chosen individual. Meeting with an Ontario estate planning lawyer throughout the process of picking and educating an executor is also a good decision.

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