The person you choose to execute your estate will take on considerable responsibility. While they can get legal help to do it, you want to ensure they have certain attributes in the first place.
Choosing the wrong person can delay the distribution process and could even lead to your family losing out if money is wasted through poor execution or mistakes. Here are some essential qualities of an executor:
Honest and loyal
Trustworthiness is crucial as they could do a lot of harm with the access you are giving them.
While executors can claim a certain amount of financial compensation, they will be giving up a lot of their time for relatively little reward other than serving you and your family. Hence you want someone willing to do that for you out of friendship rather than someone who would only do so begrudgingly.
Good communication skills
Executors cannot act as lone wolfs. They have a duty to inform others, such as beneficiaries and the court, about their progress. If they are the type of person who sees anyone that asks something as a threat to their authority, you should probably choose someone more open to transparency.
There is a lot to do in this role, and forgetting to do them will cause problems and delays. Remember, they still need to handle all their other responsibilities, such as work and raising their kids too. Think about who you know that can take it all in their stride.
Once you have chosen your executor, get legal help to put that and your other estate planning choices in writing.