Naperville Estate Planning Attorney Discusses Choosing an Executor

executor, Naperville estate planning lawyerWhen you are putting together your estate plan, you are likely to have ideas regarding how your assets and property will be divided among your beneficiaries. You may know for sure, for example, that you want your son or daughter to be responsible for your home, while your grandchildren will split the contents of your savings accounts. For many people, however, choosing what will be going to whom is not the most difficult decision to be made during the estate planning process; rather, it is deciding who will facilitate the settlement of your estate and serve as executor.

In my decades of practice as an estate planning attorney, I have helped hundreds of clients choose executors for their estates. I realize that choosing the right person can be difficult, but can be done with careful analysis and thoughtful preparation.

The Right Mindset

Anyone you choose to serve as your executor must, of course, be trustworthy, but trusting the person’s judgment is not enough. You must also be able to trust that the person you select has the organizational skills and determination to see the administration of your estate through to the end in accordance with your wishes. For example, you may trust your friend to have your best interests in mind, if he or she is not good with deadlines or complicated legal language, he or she may not be the right choice for executor.

Avoid Beneficiaries

It is not usually a good idea to select an executor who is also a named beneficiary in your will or other estate planning documents. At some point in the proceedings, your executor may be forced to make a difficult decision regarding a particular heir’s claim to your assets, and if he or she is also an heir, it could be very tough for him or her to remain objective. Even if he or she can do so, the appearance of a conflict of interest could lead to other problems and, potentially, a contested will.

Age and Health

While it may not be pleasant to consider, most estate planning is geared toward what is going to happen after your death. You need to be relatively certain, therefore, that your chosen executor is going to outlive you. He or she will also need to be healthy enough—physically and mentally—to carry our his or her assigned responsibilities. It is also important to be sure that the person you choose is willing and able to take on the duties of executor.

Guidance for Your Will

If you are in the process of drafting your will and you have yet to decide on an executor, contact an experienced Naperville estate planning attorney. We will explain your available options and help you make the best decisions for the future of your family and loved ones. Call 630-756-1160 today.



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