Elder Planning Isn't Just For The Elderly

Should you have a relative as your executor?

When it comes to picking your executor, you might want to make an immediate beeline for your relatives. After all, you know them better than anyone and you likely feel closest to them, too.

But is choosing a relative the best option for you or your estate plan? It may surprise you to learn that it could actually pose problems instead.

The duties of an executor

Forbes talks about the importance of putting the right person in as an executor. An executor will have a lot of duties to cover. Not only do they hold responsibility for your estate in its entirety, but they also interact directly with your other grieving loved ones, so they must have social awareness and an ability to interact with others.

They need to handle your taxes, outstanding debts, trust, will, division of your assets, payment of other legal professionals working on the estate and other financial matters. They must work well with your financial advisors and attorneys.

Does your family member fit the bill?

In short, the executor needs to be someone who is organized, timely and manages their duties and tasks well. They need to have a strong sense of responsibility while also maintaining empathy and the ability to communicate with grieving loved ones well.

Family members do not always fit that bill. You might want your most trusted relative to handle things because you know they see eye to eye and will honor your request. But if they cannot shoulder the burden of the entire estate, you may want to consider other options. More responsible and more distant relatives may make for a good compromise.

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