Choosing an Executor Doesn't Have to be Scary!
Choosing the right person to be the Executor of your estate is the single most important decision to make in your Will. Here is what you need to know about who to choose – and why.
Many people defer to family relationships and birth order as the means of selecting their Executor. They select their spouse first; if not able, then the eldest child; if not able, then the second eldest child… and so on. But, are they the right picks to be your Executor?
The obligations of your Executor will depend upon factors present in your estate: Do you have complicated assets, such as a business? Do you want or need to benefit some people more than others? Do your beneficiaries get along? Do their spouses get along? The “outlaw in-laws” whispering in your child’s ear will be a tremendous influence on the administration of your estate - and rarely in a beneficial manner. Your Executor will have to deal with a variety of financial questions, emotional issues, and family politics. So, with that in mind, is following the standard course of selecting your Executor based on family relationships and birth order the right way to go? Or is it a recipe for disaster?
When faced with these questions, we can provide a variety of alternatives, such as combining parties to act as a group, drawing on their individual strengths to complete the collective tasks of an administration. Or, combining a family member with a trusted advisor to help stickhandle around the areas with which your family member requires assistance. In some instances, appointing a trust company can be the right choice. Sure, it is expensive, but it also guarantees the estate will be administered by-the-book. It forces beneficiaries to get in line, or suffer the delays and costs brought on by challenging decisions.
For more information in choosing your Executor wisely, or to examine other options in creating a team to handle the administration of your estate, give me a call for a complimentary planning meeting.
Rolland C. Lequier
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