Choosing an Executor for Your Will
Support from an Oakland Estate Planning Lawyer
Selecting an executor for your will can be a difficult challenge. An executor
is the person who will be responsible for distributing your possessions,
paying your debts, and managing your property during the probate of your
estate. As an Oakland estate planning lawyer, I understand how important
it is to thoroughly think through this position. You will need to consider
several factors before choosing the right executor for your will. First,
you will need to be aware of the legal qualifications for an executor.
In order for an individual to be legally qualified to be your executor,
they must fulfill the following:
- Over the age of 18
- Must be a U.S. resident
- Not subject to a conservatorship or otherwise unfit
- Must not have committed fraud
- Not a business partner
So how do you choose the best executor? Your spouse, parents or siblings
may all qualify, but that still doesn't make them the best choice.
I will continue to review how to choose an executor for your will below.
Selecting the Best Executor
An executor is responsible for all of the assets in your will. This means
you will need to select a person who is wise with finances and can be
trusted to distribute things fairly. They are responsible for the care
of your estate, which means they can be charged with losses resulting
from neglect if they mishandle your assets. Since estate taxes and other
financial assets must be managed, it can be beneficial to select an executor
with former knowledge of these things.
Because your executor will have so much authority over your belongings,
it is important you choose someone who is trustworthy and who will be
mentally competent to carry out these responsibilities after your death.
In many cases, the person who is going to receive the bulk of your assets
is chosen as an executor. This could include your spouse, domestic partner,
siblings, parents, or close friend.
While this can work for some individuals, others struggle greatly due to
their grief, age, or emotional instability after the recent loss. For
this reason, many people decide to select a legal professional to handle
their estate. This not only eliminates emotional stress and challenges,
but puts your property in the hands of an experienced financial manager.
A skilled lawyer will be able to take care of all tax obligations while
still ensuring your loved ones receive the assets they deserve.
A person might want to name more than one individual as an executor if
they feel the responsibility will be more balanced this way. If you choose
to name two people to share the responsibility of being your executor,
you should keep in mind that they may run into several disagreements.
Due to the sensitivity of the matters being handled, it often leads to
arguments and battles of how the estate should be handled.
While naming co-executors can result in unnecessary conflict, it can be
useful for individuals who have property in another state. Regardless
of your financial situation, it is important to think through the emotional
and mental stress that you will be placing on a loved one if you choose
to name them as your executor. If you would like to find out more information,
I am always available to discuss this with you.
Contact Summerall Law, P.C.
today at (415) 275-3283.