Does it really matter who you appoint as executor in your will?

YES!  It absolutely matters who you appoint as the executor in your will!  A cat named ‘Boots’ taught thousands of people the importance of naming a trusted executor in your Will.  Specifically, a news story out of Chicago gives the story of Boots and his deceased owner.

Apparently, Boots’ owner loved animals so much that she gave $1.3 million to charities for animals in her Will.  However, her Last Will and Testament also stipulated that her cat, Boots, should be euthanized.  Why would she want to euthanize her own cat if she loves animals so much?  It’s speculated that the owner assumed any owner after her would mistreat Boots, and she couldn’t bear to think of Boots going through all that agony.

Fortunately, after Boots’ owner died, the executor of the owner’s Will stepped in and asked the court to block the euthanization of Boots.  Now, that’s a good executor.  Even though the executor technically acted against the wishes of Boots’ owner, it was only because he knew that Boots was going to receive top-notch care.  The executor arranged for Boots to go to a cage-free cat sanctuary.

Here, the executor showed several qualities you want in an executor.  First, the executor was responsible.  You want your executor to care about doing the right thing and doing what you would want done.  Second, the executor was active and engaged.  If your executor is slow, that can cause resentment among the Will beneficiaries.

I know this sounds like common sense.  However, you might be surprised at how many of my clients name executors based off of how much they like a particular person or how nice the person is.  Other times, my clients will feel as they “owe” someone and, therefore, should name that person as executor…. as if naming someone executor is doing that person a favor.

So, when you’re evaluating potential executors, remember that serving as executor is hard work and requires responsibility and diligence above all else.

 Other important qualities when choosing an executor include, in order of importance:

  1. Trustworthy (would never steal)
  2. Has relevant experience (has served as executor previously, is a CPA, or is an attorney)
  3. Not too busy (doesn’t have a career or family that is too demanding)
  4. Doesn’t live too far away
  5. Doesn’t have too much personal animosity against the beneficiaries in the Will


NOTE also that the executor cannot be a convicted felon and cannot have committed a “crime of moral turpitude.”




Visit for more information on naming executors in your Texas will, an executrix, what to do if you are named executor in Texas, or the duties of an executor of a Texas Last Will and Testament, contact Dallas, Texas estate planning lawyers here.

Shutt Law Firm’s office is conveniently located just north of Dallas, TX, near the intersection of highway 75 and Arapaho Road in Richardson, TX.


You can also call the estate planning attorneys at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this article or to discuss a different legal matter. Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you’re looking for a Dallas, TX lawyer for probate court, Dallas Letters Testamentary, avoiding probate in Dallas, TX, or probate attorney in Dallas area.


DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this brief article constitutes legal advice. The information provided herein is merely provided in the spirit of education. If you have a legal question, you should consult an attorney for your specific legal situation. Further, nothing in this article shall be construed to have started an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship exists until both you and an attorney at the Shutt Law Firm PLLC sign an engagement letter.