Matthew S. Payne is a Schaumburg-based attorney with a 20-year record of success in civil litigation, real estate law and estate planning.

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Choosing an executor of your will

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2021 | Estate Planning

One of the most important steps Illinois residents make during the estate planning process is choosing an executor for their will. This is a vital decision because the individual chosen should be trustworthy with respect to following directions. Many testators will want to choose one of their children, but there can also be situations where this may not be the best selection, and especially when there is discord among siblings. Here are a few aspects of choosing an executor everyone should consider.


Many times it is best to choose an executor who does not have anything to gain. Wills are usually simple with respect to the wishes of the decedent. One of the primary legal issues with a will is that it can be contested, and one of the points of argument is self-service execution. An independent neutral party with estate planning experience often has objectivity performing the responsibilities associated with the position.

Age and health

Age and health can also be an issue when choosing an executor, as many times the most trustworthy individual will be advanced in age. The chosen party should be in relatively good health and old enough to make mature and honest decisions while respectfully handling their executor duties.

Time allocation

Another aspect of choosing an executor is how much time they have that can be devoted to performing their responsibilities. Estate administration can be a detailed process, and certain duties for executors can include filing a tax return or ensuring that certain assets are delivered according to court orders or will directives. This requires an individual willing to spend the necessary time.

These are just a few issues that any grantor should evaluate before preparing their will in writing. Additionally, always ask the potential executor before a final selection to ensure they will accept the responsibility.