Naming an executor is among the most important decisions individuals make when preparing estate plans. Executors will do all legal tasks necessary to execute a will. They must be prepared to conduct all this work professionally, respecting the fiduciary duty they have to beneficiaries. Here are a few things Texas estate planners should consider when picking someone to be their executor:
Personality and temperament
Ideally, an executor will be highly responsible and organized, as well as patient and able to manage potential conflict in a respectable, professional manner. Patience is very key in executing a will, as the process can take time and involve unforeseen steps. It is also important to pick a responsible person, as mismanagement of an estate can have devastating consequences for all involved.
There is always a possibility of outliving an executor, which is why many people typically name one or more backups. It is advisable to make sure at least one of these named individuals is younger and in good health. This will increase the likelihood that there will be someone living to execute the will.
Relationship with beneficiaries
If one’s most trusted friend or family member is at odds with their beneficiaries, it may not be advisable to name them as executor despite them meeting other criteria. Having a trusting relationship with the beneficiaries will make an executor’s job much easier and limit the possibility of litigation down the road. Estate execution can be a touchy business, so preventing drama is usually a good idea.
Many people think they need to name an executor who lives in their immediate area. Fortunately, someone in a different city or even state can successfully execute a will, so this doesn’t need to be a major limitation period. It can add expenses if an executor is far away, as he or she may need to hire companies to do things such as move items or supervise any distribution of assets.
Picking an executor can be an emotional and challenging decision for some people. In some cases, there may be multiple people who would expect the job and it is hard to pick between them, while in other cases, there is no obvious candidate. Individuals in either situation can find support and advice on picking an executor from an experienced Texas estate planning lawyer.