Do's and Don'ts of Naming an Executor

Do's and Don'ts of Naming an Executor

Written by Dave Laemers & Jennifer Black

Posted in conjunction with Basic Funerals

Typically, people don’t consider naming an executor of their own will until they are well past middle-age. This is when they consider themselves closer to death than to birth and thus opt to make the “proper” arrangements. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about naming an executor. It can be done at any time. This is especially important for those who have recently been widowed because they will need someone to handle their affairs after they pass. Take a look at the top three do’s and don’ts for naming an executor of your will.



1. Don’t simply name a family member because they are your only relative. An executor should not be named simply because you share a bloodline. This is a big decision and it requires a lot of thought, and pre-planning. Selecting a family member is the obvious choice, but it is not always the right one. You want to choose someone who will unequivocally honour your wishes and not abuse the right.
2. Don’t wait until the last minute. If life has taught us anything, it’s that you should live in the moment because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. That might sound morbid, but it’s the truth. A life can be taken without warning and without preparation. Naming an executor is something that will provide you with peace of mind. It will instill confidence that if anything were to happen to you, everything would be taken care of.
3. Don’t select your closest friend or family member if they are in bad health. This means that your first cousin, Betty, who has been your best friend since birth might not be the best choice if she is in cancer remission. Of course, it is not guaranteed that she will get sick again, but the safer option is to pick someone with less risk of predeceasing you.



1. Do seek professional counsel. It is always a good idea to spend time with a professional who can advise you which route to choose. This can be anyone from a licensed funeral pre-planner, to a doctor or lawyer. They will all have opinions that can help you in your final decision.
2. Do consider naming a close family friend. Most people immediately name one of their children as an executor simply because they assume their children will outlive them. While this is always an option, you can also name a close friend who is in good health. This might limit any strife within the family over the decision.
3. Do notify the individual you are thinking of well ahead of time.
Do not drop the bomb on someone that you have named them as executor of your estate without their knowledge. This is because some individuals, no matter how much they care about you, do not want the pressure or responsibility that comes along with it. It is a good idea to have a conversation with the individual you are considering to ensure they are up for the task and willing to be named.
Article provided compliments of Basic Funerals and to get more information on pre-planning you can contact them directly at (905) 361-9110 or by email, or contact DFS Private Wealth for more information.

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