Is It Time to Choose a New Executor?
In a recent post, I outlined the importance of reviewing your estate plan regularly. The primary goal of such a review is to determine if your estate plan still matches your life’s circumstances well enough to give you and your family the peace of mind you deserve.
As an estate planning lawyer, I realize that while many people perform their regular plan reviews, they often focus on their assets and their heirs. Of course, it is important to identify and address concerns over newly acquired property and those who are slated to inherit your estate after your death, but there are other concerns that must also be considered from time to time. Among these concerns should be the person you have selected to serve as the executor of your estate. There may come a time when naming a new executor is the best option for your estate plan.
Changes in Life Circumstances
We all know that life is constantly changing, no matter how much we might wish otherwise. For many people, these changes become especially noticeable as they age. Your current circumstances are probably not the same as when you first created your estate plan and named your executor. You may have experienced a divorce, the death of a close family member, or even a move to a new state. Any one of these changes could necessitate a rethinking of your entire estate plan, including your chosen executor. The person you originally selected might not be in your life anymore, or he or she might live a great distance away now.
A More Complicated Estate
If you have acquired a substantial amount of wealth or valuable investments since your will was first drafted, changes are almost certainly in order. The same is true if you have already given away much of your estate or reduced its complexity through financial planning. In either case, you should consider your executor and whether he or she is qualified—or overqualified—to manage your estate. A larger, more complex estate might be too much for your original executor, while a smaller, simpler estate might lead you to choose a new executor—especially if your original executor was a lawyer or a financial professional.
Relationships Matter Too
While there are exceptions, there is a good chance that your circle of close friends has changed several times throughout your life. The same may even be true of family members—in-laws, especially. If you have selected an executor who is no longer in your life to the same degree that he or she once was, you may want to think about choosing a new person. Do not stick with someone who does not know you well anymore out of a sense of loyalty. You need to make the best decisions for yourself and your heirs, not because you might hurt the feelings of someone who used to be your close friend.
A Naperville Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help
If you would like assistance in reviewing your estate plan or choosing a new executor, contact an experienced estate planning attorney in Naperville, Illinois. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation at the Gierach Law Firm to get the help you need today.