When you’re making your estate plans, there are lots of decisions that have to be made – not the least of which is who you want to name as your executor.
Most people choose a family member or a close friend for the job, and that may be what you’ve always thought you should do, too. However, there are good reasons to consider naming a professional executor, instead:
Your estate is large and complicated
Being an executor is a big job, and that job gets bigger when there are complex assets involved. If you have a diverse investment portfolio, business interests and real estate in multiple locations, you may want a professional with financial know-how to be involved so that they can make sure that your estate’s assets are properly managed. Plus, that removes the potential for liability for any mistakes away from those that you love.
You have some difficult family dynamics
Blended families, estrangements, old feuds and sibling rivalries can all come to a head after a death. If you can already tell that there will be fighting between your heirs and beneficiaries, it may be wisest to appoint a professional executor. A neutral third party can often help minimize disputes and reassure heirs and beneficiaries that everything with the estate is being handled fairly.
You have concerns about the time or distance involved
Finally, it’s important to acknowledge that the role of the executor is, without any doubt, time-consuming. If the person you’d prefer for the job lives at a significant distance from you or has a busy life, they may not have the ability to serve. It’s better to select a professional than to put someone you care about in an untenable position.
While appointing a family member or friend as your executor can be a sentimental choice, it is wise to consider the circumstances surrounding the estate. Discussing your options with someone with legal knowledge can help you better understand the dynamics of probate and your options.