When you're deciding who will be the executor of your estate or whether you will accept a request to be one, pros say it's important to avoid making a hasty decision.
Simply put, serving as an executor is no cakewalk. The person in that role — who often is grieving — will be in charge of trying to make sure everything the decedent owned ends up where it's supposed to. They also ensure a final tax return is filed and that other debts are paid as necessary.
"Being named an executor is a compliment, but it's a lot of work," said certified financial planner John Gajkowski, a principal of Money Managers in Oak Brook, Illinois. "It's not something that can be done in a weekend. The person needs to be tenacious, business minded and able to focus on taking the steps necessary to get the job done."