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Should you choose a family member or a non-member as your executor?

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Many people face the challenge of choosing a family member or someone outside the family as the executor of their estate. It may be natural to select your spouse, child or relative to handle your affairs. However, someone from outside, such as a close friend, bank or trust company, may be reliable. 

Executors have crucial duties – you need to be careful about your choice. This guide discusses questions to ask yourself.

Do your children have the skills to serve as an executor?

In addition to taking the will to probate, executors manage the estate before distribution, file tax returns, pay debts and so on. Thus, they should be skilled to avoid costly mistakes. Banks and trust companies are experienced in handling these duties. However, you can take a loved one through the needed training to perform the duties competently. Thus, weigh the options to determine your most suitable one. 

Are there conflicts among your children?

If you are worried that your children may have conflicts over the estate, it will be best to appoint someone from outside the family as the executor. Choosing one of your kids in such a situation may lead to will contests, which can lengthen the process.

Do you have many assets?

The value of your assets is also crucial in choosing an executor. If you have many assets, with some even outside the state or country, you can appoint an experienced executor. However, if your child, spouse or friend can be trained to understand how to manage assets worth thousands of dollars, and perhaps in different jurisdictions, you may pick them. 

The executor you choose will depend on your situation. It will help to analyze your case to make the right call.