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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.

Naming Co-Executors

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.

summerall law
Summerall Law, P.C. - Oakland Estate Planning Attorney
Located at 3873 Piedmont Avenue, Suite 8,
Oakland, CA 94611
Phone: (415) 944-9406
Local Phone: (415) 944-9406

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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