When Should I Consider Naming a New Executor?
A will is the foundation for almost any comprehensive estate plan. As you probably realize your will can contain a variety of provisions that allocate your estate to your chosen heirs, as well as establish arrangements for the care of your minor or disabled children. One of the most crucial elements of your will is your selection of an executor. Under Illinois, your executor is responsible for overseeing your estate and, ultimately, ensuring that your wishes are carried out regarding your property and assets.
In my practice as an estate planning lawyer, many clients have asked me about changing the executor named in their will, and if doing so was a good idea. Of course, the answer to that question depends on your specific situation, but there are a few reasons that should get you thinking about naming a new executor as well.
To summarize a phrase from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, the only thing constant in life is change. The truth of that maxim becomes more apparent to many people as they get older. Your present situation may be drastically different than when you first drafted your will and named your current executor. Major life changes such as divorce, the death of a spouse or child, or a relocation to a new state may require you to revamp your entire estate plan, including your executor. The person currently appointed to fill the role may no longer be a part of your life, or may now live a prohibitive distance away.
Has your wealth or investment holdings increased significantly since you first drafted you will? On the other hand, have you liquidated assets and reduced the complexity of your estate with the help of a financial advisor? Either way, you may also want to think about your executor and his or her qualifications for managing your estate. In the first example, a much larger estate may become too complicated for your current executor to handle. If the complexity of your assets has substantially decreased, you may want to choose a new executor as well—especially if you chose an attorney, accountant, or financial professional as your current executor.
Have you remained close friends with the same group of people throughout your life? While one or two individuals may have stayed in regular contact, chances are the people around you have probably changed a few times over the years. When you review your will periodically, take the time to think about your relationship with the person that you have selected as your executor. If he or she no longer relates well to your life and your wishes regarding your estate, you should consider appointing someone else. Loyalty is honorable, but you should not be afraid to make the right decisions yourself and your family due to a sense of obligation to a friend from a previous part of your life.
Call a DuPage County Estate Administration Lawyer to Learn More
If you are in the process of reviewing your estate plan, a experienced Naperville estate planning attorney from our firm can help you identify areas of concern and make the appropriate changes. Contact the Gierach Law Firm by calling 630-756-1160 to schedule a consultation today. We are equipped to help you provide a secure future for your family and loved ones.