Fountain pen and a last will and testament. A form is printed on a light brown mulberry paper and waiting to be completed

Considerations When Naming an Executor in Your Will

Planning for the future is critical, even if it can be scary or uncomfortable to do so. Crafting a will is a crucial step in securing your legacy and ensuring your wishes are honored. Equally important is the selection of an executor—a decision that demands thoughtful consideration and foresight. An executor is entrusted with the responsibility of carrying out your last wishes. This role involves a variety of tasks, ranging from managing assets to handling financial affairs. The choice of an executor should not be taken lightly.


Can You Trust Them?


Trustworthiness is one of the most important qualities to look for in your executor. The individual that you choose for your executor should possess integrity, reliability, and a commitment to fulfilling their duties faithfully. They must be able to act impartially and prioritize your wishes over personal interests and potential pressure from people who you left behind.


Credibility is another important factor when choosing an executor. Maryland has requirements for serving as an executor. The person that you choose must be 18 years or older and of sound mind. Additionally, they cannot have a felony conviction or have been convicted of a “serious crime” like theft, forgery, fraud, or perjury. Maryland also does not allow full-time judges of any Maryland or US court, registers, or clerks of the court to serve as executors unless they are a relative within the third degree of kinship or a surviving spouse. Make sure that you choose someone without a serious criminal record and who does not fall into any of the above categories.


Do They Understand the Responsibilities They’ll Have?


Before naming someone an executor, it's vital that they understand the full scope of their responsibilities. Executors are tasked with various duties, including locating and managing assets, paying debts and taxes, distributing assets as per your will, and representing the estate in legal matters. It's important to discuss these duties with the potential executor to ensure they are willing and capable of fulfilling them.


Is Choosing a Friend or Family Member Always the Best?


Opting for a family member or a close friend as an executor is common. However, familial, and personal relationships shouldn't be the only things that you consider, as they can actually make acting as an executor more challenging. While you might trust them more, it's important to assess their ability to handle hard and emotional situations. Conflicts of interest or strained relationships among beneficiaries could complicate matters, especially if your executor is involved in them.


Partner with Atkinson Law. We’ll Take Care of You Like Family


At Atkinson Law, we listen to all our clients and protect their interests so they can receive a positive legal outcome.  We’ll work with you and give you the best possible recommendation for your future. To learn more about naming an executor in your will, contact us today by calling (410) 882-9595 or visiting our website.