Print Friendly, PDF & Email
| add this

Hastily choosing an executor can lead to problems after your death

Posted on 01/24/19

Choosing the right executor — sometimes known as a “personal representative” — is critical to the smooth administration of an estate. Yet many people treat this decision as an afterthought. Given an executor’s many responsibilities and complex tasks, it pays to put some thought into the selection.

Job description

An executor’s duties may include:

  • Collecting, protecting and taking inventory of the estate’s assets,
  • Filing the estate’s tax returns and paying its taxes,
  • Handling creditors’ claims and the estate’s claims against others,
  • Making investment decisions,
  • Distributing property to beneficiaries, and
  • Liquidating assets if necessary.

You don’t necessarily have to choose a professional executor or someone with legal or financial expertise. Often, lay people can handle the job, hiring professionals as needed (at the estate’s expense) to handle matters beyond their expertise.

Candidate considerations

Many people choose a family member or close friend for the job, but this can be a mistake for two reasons. First, a person who’s close to you may be too grief-stricken to function effectively. Second, if your executor stands to gain from the will, he or she may have a conflict of interest — real or perceived — which can lead to will contests or other disputes by disgruntled family members.

If either of these issues is a concern, consider choosing an independent outsider as executor. Some people appoint co-executors — one trusted friend who knows the family and understands its dynamics, and one independent executor with business, financial or legal expertise.

Designate a backup

Regardless of whom you choose, be sure to designate at least one backup executor to serve in the event that your first choice dies or becomes incapacitated before it’s time to settle your estate — or turns down the job. Contact us for answers to your questions about choosing the right executor.

Contact Us

location icon

Our Locations

Sarasota Office
1990 Main Street, Suite 801
Sarasota, FL 34236
Phone: 941.365.4617
Toll Free: 800.966.8676
Fax: 941.954.3207

Lakewood Ranch Office
9423 Town Center Parkway
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
Phone: 941.365.4617

Tampa Office
4350 West Cypress Street
Meridian One, Suite 930
Tampa, FL 33607
Phone: 813.675.8800

Lets Get Started.

 

Verification

 
leading edge alliance move project logo green business logo 2017 IPA 200