Someone needs to take charge of distributing your assets as laid out in your will. You can either make the choice yourself by naming an executor now. Or, if you don’t, the probate court will put someone in charge for you. While the role is pretty much the same, a court appoints someone they are referred to as an administrator rather than an executor.
Being an executor or administrator is by no means an easy task. The role is far more complex than simply distributing assets and there may be challenges to the will if beneficiaries are unsatisfied.
Choosing the person yourself is best
You have no idea who a court might appoint. Maybe they turn out to be great, or maybe they turn out to be terrible at the role. When you choose someone yourself, you cannot guarantee they’ll be any good, but you can certainly increase the chance they are.
Qualities you should look for include organization, communication, empathy, a willingness to work transparently without taking questions as a personal slight and, of course, trustworthiness.
Other things you need to factor in are availability and willingness. A friend or relative who lives locally but feels like they are doing you a favor by taking on the role may not be as effective as someone who lives further but is willing to put a lot of time and effort in out of respect or love for you.
Learning more about what the role entails can help, whether you are looking to nominate someone or someone has nominated you.