The vast majority of people name their spouse or one of their adult children as their estate executors – but that’s not always the wisest choice.
You’re putting your estate plans together in the first place because you love your family, and you don’t want to cause them any undue stress when you’re gone. Choosing the wrong executor can lead to nothing but drama, no matter what your intentions. That’s why more people are starting to turn to professional executors.
How do you know if this is the right route for your estate? Consider these situations:
You have concerns about a family feud
Maybe you have a “blended” family that never really blended, or maybe your adult children have been rivals since the youngest was two. Either way, you know that the fighting is probably going to start as soon as you’re no longer there to enforce the peace.
You have concerns about the complexity of the estate
You’ve been prudent about your investments over the years, but many of your assets will need special handling when it comes time to value them for the estate or determine their tax liabilities. It takes someone who is financially savvy (or wise enough to realize when they need to hire someone) to manage those kinds of estates.
You have concerns about your heirs’ capacity
Finally, you know your family best: Is your son really organized enough to make sure that probate is opened the way it should be and everything is handled in a timely manner? Is your spouse so likely to be overwhelmed with grief that they let things sit? Having a professional take over may provide an additional sense of relief for those you leave behind.
You aren’t sure you trust anyone to play fair
If your family dynamics are particularly complicated, you may not trust anybody to play fair with each other when it comes to the estate. You also may not want to burden a friend or another relative with trying to navigate the dissent. A professional may find it easier to stay above all the problems.
When you have questions about your estate planning options, it’s good to get experienced legal guidance.