Whether you are an Executor/Trustee (E/T) or looking to ask someone to take on the responsibility for your Estate, the personal qualities necessary for both are very similar. When a potential customer asks me if I would consider being their E/T, I interview them just as they have interviewed me. So here is an abbreviated list of what I consider to be the 7 qualities of an ideal customer and an ideal E/T.
2. Pro-active versus reactive
3. Open to discussing all aspects of what is needed
4. Doesn’t like surprises
5. Wants to move quickly
6. A decision maker
7. Respectful, polite
As an E/T for a number of customers I have an additional list of “must-haves”:
- Has a pre-paid funeral plan in place. See my associate Kat Downey’s link for details regarding this service
- Has given me the contact details for:
- essential family
- friends and business associates
- Meets or communicates with me periodically regarding changes i.e. assets, passwords, addendums to Will
- Be within my geographical service boundaries
- Informs family or business associates about me and my responsibilities
Being an E/T is also about developing a relationship. It can be cut and dry – this is the Will, this is what needs to be done on my passing. But that’s not the way I work. Yes there are rules and laws that have to be adhered to, but there’s also respect for a life lived. I need to know about what’s important to the person whose Estate I’ll be responsible for. I need to understand the details of the Will, and the intentions, which aren’t always easily identified. It’s also important to know the family dynamics. Things like:
- Do the siblings get along?
- Have individuals asked for an advance on the potential Estate?
- Has someone been specifically left out of the Will who may want to cause problems?
Sad to say these examples occur frequently, along with a sense of entitlement.
A good E/T needs to be unbiased in their actions and communication – removing themselves from the family friction and getting the job done. Preserving the Estate and if possible increasing the value is also necessary.
Are you up for the job, or need someone that is? If you want a complete list of the ideal customer-E/T characteristics, along with those for Power of Attorney – Property, please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to send it to you. You can connect with me by leaving a comment here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.
Until next time,