If you live in Pennsylvania and have already created a will or estate plan, you are a step ahead of many. One of the final decisions you must make is also one of the most important. Before you finalize your estate plan, you must choose an executor of your estate. This person will be given many important tasks and make big decisions about your assets, so it is important that you choose the right one.

AARP encourages you to focus on common sense as much as expertise. You do not need an expert financial advisor to serve as your executor unless you feel you need an expert. Someone with basic, good business sense that you trust may be a better pick. It may benefit you to pick someone who is not afraid to ask for help rather than someone who believes they have all the answers.

You also want to choose someone who will be around to execute your plans after you die. Do not pick someone who is not likely to outlive you. There may be situations where your executor cannot perform their duties because of death, disability or distance. This makes it extremely important that you pick a backup in case your original cannot meet their duties.

One final tip is to check back every few years to see if you need any adjustments made to your executor. There may have been life events such as a divorce, family fights or a falling out with a friend. If you are concerned that this may happen in your situation, it may be a good idea to name a corporate trustee rather than an individual.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.