A last will is much more than simply a legal document that directs affected parties about what to do with your property when you pass away. It is also a declaration of your legacy and speaks volumes about your values and priorities to your heirs and beneficiaries. When setting out to write your last will, one of the most important steps in the process is choosing a qualified, competent executor.

The executor of a last will is often a trusted friend or family member, but the quality of your relationship with a person is not the only thing to consider when making this important choice. Simply because an individual is close to you or holds a prestigious position of some kind does not necessarily meant that he or she is the best candidate to be your will’s executor. While it is important to appoint someone who is trustworthy, it is also important that he or she has sufficient skills and knowledge to complete your wishes when the time comes. It is also wise to consider the how likely it is that you might outlive him or her, barring an unforeseen tragedy.

Depending on the complexity of your assets and the nature of your last wishes, you may consider appointing more than one executor to facilitate specific portions of your will and ensure that it is honored explicitly.

Lastly, before finalizing your last will and appointing an executor, be sure to obtain the individual’s consent, so that this person is aware of the responsibilities and honors that he or she will have when the time comes.

Creating your last will is a special task filled with unique challenges. Ensuring that your wishes are clearly expressed to those you love can be both a great privilege and great burden if undertaken haphazardly. The guidance of experienced legal counsel can help ensure that your legacy is made known and honored.