Most people choose a family member or close friend to serve as an executor or a personal representative of their estate. This means that when you pass away, this person once approved by the court will be able to handle the administration of your affairs and the closing out of your estate.
You are not obligated to choose a friend or family member to serve in this role and many people turn to other individuals or organizations. A professional, such as an accountant or attorney might be the right choice in the event that you do not find anyone in your family or current net worth to serve in this role.
An effective executor should bring certain qualities to the table, including being ethical, organized, committed to doing the best possible job, careful about protecting the best interests of the beneficiaries, and being tactful. As an executor, it is not necessary to have the expertise or skills brought to the table by an accountant or an attorney. However, it is common for personal representatives who are dealing with complex estates or those who are not familiar with all the responsibilities of serving in this role to engage in the services of these professionals to help with the management of the estate.
When retaining these professional services to assist with probate administration, payments will be made to these individuals from the estate itself. Serving as an executor does not require any professional certifications or licensure but it can be beneficial to think about the financial obligations and understanding of the person that you choose to appoint in this role.