Bay Area Estate And Tax Planning Law Firm

How does an estate planner choose a skilled executor?

On Behalf of | Sep 17, 2021 | Estate Planning |

During probate, the executor of the estate handles numerous responsibilities on behalf of the deceased. Distributing assets remains a top priority, but this is not the only duty the executor performs. Not everyone realizes that the executive serves as the testator’s personal representative when dealing with various California and federal entities. So the testator benefits from choosing an executor wisely.

On choosing an executor

During the estate planning process, a testator likely would choose someone he or she knows well, such as a close relative. Trust counts for a lot when picking the executor, but the person must also be responsible. A responsible person understands that it is essential to do the job right and on time. An executor may have time limits to get things done, such as selling a house or car before the insurance expires. A representative who struggles with commitment could cause problems in probate court.

Of course, the executor should be an honest person. Allowing personal reasons to change up asset distributions as noted in the will could lead to a lawsuit and perjury or fraud charges.

Sometimes, the executor may wish to do the job right but lacks the ability. Beneficiaries might become tired of incompetence and go into probate court and seek to remove the executor.

Other factors associated with choosing an executor

Experience comes with age, but choosing an executor who might be too aged or frail for the job could be an estate planning mistake. Also, an older person may suffer from health ailments that could make things even more difficult. Of course, younger persons with health issues may raise the same concerns.

Making sure that someone is willing to be an executor could be a smart move. Choosing someone who refuses the job means that the courts could pick the representative. If that is not what the testator wants to see happen, it seems wise to ask the candidate if they want the job.