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Perhaps you have finally decided to address the important job of drafting your will. You have made an appointment, you have located important documents, but have you forgotten a primary task?

Remember to appoint your executor. What sort of qualifications will your top pick need?

Trustworthiness

You want someone as an executor, or personal representative, whom you can trust to look after your affairs competently after you pass away and deal with your heirs in a reasonable manner. Many people think of their spouses, but your spouse may not want the job, especially if you have significant assets, which would make the responsibilities of settling your estate more complicated. The person you eventually choose as executor should not only be trustworthy and undaunted by the task but also young enough that he or she is likely to be around after you die.

Common sense

You may think of a relative or close friend who has certain business skills that you believe would be put to good use in carrying out your final wishes. While this is certainly true, remember that someone with common sense would be just as effective. This is the kind of person who would not hesitate to seek professional legal, real estate or accounting help if necessary, to avoid missteps.

An appreciation for forms

Although it may seem insignificant at this point, keep in mind that there is a lot of paperwork ahead. Your executor should be well-organized, detail-oriented and not intimidated by having a good many forms to fill out.

The centerpiece

A will is the focal point of an estate plan. Perhaps this is the only document you feel you need at this time, but down the road, you may wish to look into other estate planning tools that will benefit you while you are still alive. There are several options to explore as soon as you are ready.