Choosing the executor
Choosing the executor should not be an overlooked aspect of the estate planning process. I prefer clients that clients have made this decision before they meet with me. Here are some considerations that you can consider when deciding who should serve as executor. These are certainly not the only considerations.
Some people will automatically chose the oldest child as if there is some sort of rule that says the oldest has to have this role. The executor doesn’t have to be one of your children, let alone the oldest child. If the children in the family do not get along, maybe one of your friends or neighbors is the best choice for an executor. Sometimes people may have more faith in an executor who is not a beneficiary. Whomever you choose, you must always choose someone that you trust. I prefer that you also consider someone who has credibility with the other beneficiaries.
To choose the ideal executor, think about what the executor will have to do. There are likely going to be several financial matters to sort out. The executor will have to work with an attorney, tax professional, insurance agent, etc. During the probate administration process, the executor will have to organize information about all of the decedent’s assets and file that information with the probate court.
If you plan to leave behind a house, you may want to consider an executor who lives relatively close to you. Even if the house is going to be sold, someone is going to need to secure that house and maintain it until the sale goes through. There will be expenses like lawn care, snow removal, homeowner’s insurance, etc. In some cases, there might even need to be some upgrades that need to be done to the house before it can be sold. It might be more difficult for someone who lives out of state to meet with a realtor, contractors, and oversee construction progress.
If most all of the assets are accounts, then it might not really matter where the executor lives. What is going to matter is whether the executor has credibility with the other beneficiaries. Even if the executor carefully follows all of the probate attorney’s guidance, the beneficiaries might launch an action to contest the Will. This is why it is important to consider family dynamics when crafting an estate plan.
Choosing the executor does not have to be overwhelming. With careful thought, I can help you select an executor and make it easy for that executor to carry out the probate administration. Contact me today to get started.