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Are there benefits to choosing family as an estate executor?

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2024 | Probate |

Estate planning involves many important decisions. One of the most crucial is selecting an executor. This person will be responsible for carrying out the directions in your will, settling any debts and distributing your assets. But is choosing a family member as your executor a good idea?

Here are some important considerations.

Can they manage potential family disputes?

If your family is large or its relationships are complex, arguments may arise during the probate process. These disputes can result from:

  • Disagreements over the interpretation of the will’s instructions.
  • Potential claims of undue influence over you, the decedent.
  • Disputes among beneficiaries about their share of the inheritance.
  • Differences of opinion on how to handle debts or liabilities of the estate.

The executor you choose should be someone who can keep calm in the face of these conflicts. But resilience isn’t the only quality they should possess. They should also be transparent in their actions, communicative and willing to address any concerns rightfully raised by the beneficiaries. Having these qualities can ultimately lead to a fair and efficient estate distribution per your wishes.

Are they ready to handle the responsibility?

Another critical factor is whether your chosen family member is ready to take on the responsibility of executor. The role of executor can be demanding, as it requires a lot of time and meticulous attention to detail. They’ll need to gather all your assets, pay off debts and taxes and allocate the remaining assets according to your will.

Evidently, this is a complex task. It calls for a high level of organization, integrity and diligence—a blend of qualities that may not be easy to find in just anyone.

Choosing the right person for the job

The person you choose should be both willing and able to take on the role. Remember, they will be managing and distributing the assets of your estate. So, you shouldn’t appoint someone without the necessary skills and temperament, as this could complicate the probate process.

While many people opt for a close family member, there may be better choices. If you’re unsure about who to choose, or if there’s no suitable candidate within your family or friends, you might consider appointing a professional executor, like a lawyer. A lawyer knows of estate laws and probate procedures that can help manage the complexities of the estate.

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