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Perhaps one of the most important elements of a will is the person the testator designates as executor of his or her Tennessee estate. This individual will have a number of heavy responsibilities, so it is important to choose the right person.

According to FindLaw, the restrictions on who can be an executor are minimal. The testator must choose someone who is a legal adult and has no felony convictions. As far as who should be an executor, there are many other factors to consider.

It is a good idea to choose someone who lives in the general area, as this will make it easier for him or her to carry out the duties of managing the estate.

Many people choose a close family member, such as a spouse or adult child, but this could come with pitfalls. First of all, a family member is likely to be grieving during this time, and fulfilling the duties of the executor may feel overwhelming. In addition, the choice of one family member may cause other family members to feel slighted. The testator should weigh these potential issues carefully before determining that a family member is the best choice.

Forbes notes that although the executor’s duties do involve dealing with finances and legal matters, the executor does not necessarily need to be a financial or legal professional. It is more important for the executor to be able and willing to call on professionals and work closely with them throughout the process. Nevertheless, the role requires the ability to be detail-oriented and organized.

When discussing the responsibilities with a potential executor, the testator should make sure he or she understands that it could take two years or more to settle the estate.