People who are planning for the future have a lot of important decisions to make, and if you are going to use a last will to transfer your assets one of these decisions will involve the selection of an executor or personal representative. Stating your wishes in writing is one thing, but there are hands-on tasks involved in carrying them out. This is the job of the executor.
Some people think about the role of executor as someone who breaks the news to the family regarding the wishes of the deceased. This is only a small part of it, so you should not select your executor based solely on how close you are to this individual. Your estate is going to have to pass through the process of probate if you use a last will, and during this period final bills (including taxes) must be paid and the assets must be prepared for distribution to the heirs. Property may have to be liquidated, and this can require appraisals.
There is a lot to accomplish, and it requires a certain amount of business savvy to get all these things done. Depending on the size and scope of your estate this administration can be time-consuming as well, so you have to make sure that your executor has the available time that it will take to carry out all of these responsibilities.
In addition, a comprehensive plan for aging is going to include an incapacity component. This too requires the selection of representatives. Most people will execute a durable medical power of attorney naming someone to make health care decisions in their behalf should they become incapacitated. In addition, a durable financial power of attorney is necessary as well, and with this document you empower an individual of your choosing to handle your financial affairs in the event of your incapacitation. Clearly, you must choose wisely when selecting these representatives given the stakes involved.