Estate planning lawyers at James D. Madden, Attorney at Lawdiscuss how to choose an executor or trustee, and what functions they will
perform on your behalf.
Only you can choose the executor or trustee of your estate. If you do not
have a Will, there will still be an executor, it’s just that you
don’t get to choose that person – a judge will. Who you choose
as the executor of your estate is perhaps one of the most important decisions
you will make in your lifetime, so you want to be sure you’re choosing
the right person.
Before you name an executor, ask yourself, does the candidate you are thinking
of meet the following criteria?
- Financially Responsible
The executor is the individual (or institution, in some cases) solely responsible
for collecting and dividing your assets according to your wishes. Make
sure you trust that person with protecting the beneficiaries named in
your Will and preserving your wishes. There is no one-size-fits all approach
to choosing an executor, but using the “responsible, stable, trustworthy”
criteria can certainly help.
If you are afraid of a potential conflict of interest in naming one relative
as the executor and excluding others, you may want to consider hiring
a paid executor, a neutral third party who will be responsible for administering
your estate. Disgruntled relatives are just one reason you might consider
a paid executor. Another reason might be that your other trusted relatives
are unable to perform that duty due to illness or grief.
If you have been named an executor of someone’s estate, this can
be a big burden to bear on your own, especially with little experience
in this area. The good news is, you don’t have to go it alone. The
estate planning attorneys at James D. Madden, Attorney at Law are here
to ensure that you carry out your functions properly.