Five Questions to Consider When You Are Named Executor

Without question, the loss of a loved one is a difficult and stressful time. Unfortunately, it is often not until this tragic loss occurs that an individual learns that they were named as the initial executor under their loved one’s will. Just because you were named executor, however, does not mean that you have to accept the appointment. Consider carefully before you proceed.

Five Considerations Before Accepting an Executorship Appointment

In many cases, the person who is named as the executor is in fact the best person for the job. However, that does not mean that it should not be thought through. We encourage you to consider the following questions before proceeding:

  1. Do you have the time to complete all of the tasks that lay before you? The responsibilities of an executor are numerous. If you have other events going on in your life that may interfere with your ability to carry out these tasks, it may not be in the best interest of either yourself or the estate for you to accept the appointment.
  2. Where are you located? At times, it may be difficult to serve as executor of your loved one’s estate when you live thousands of miles away. You may wish to consider declining the appointment and allowing another backup executor to serve in your place, if he is more conveniently located.
  3. Are you willing to fulfill all of the duties of an executor? As an executor, you have an obligation to carry out the estate administration in a manner that is consistent with the law, as well as protects its assets and the best interests of the beneficiaries. This is a significant responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly.
  4. How is your relationship with the beneficiaries of the estate? Serving as an executor is sometimes a difficult task. One of the biggest difficulties occurs when the beneficiaries are not easy to work with. If you already have a strained relationship with one or more of the beneficiaries, you may want to consider whether to continue forward and accept the appointment.
  5. Are you willing to seek guidance from professionals when needed? One of the most important aspects of a successful estate administration is cooperation from multiple parties. These parties include professionals, such as attorneys, CPA’s, and financial advisors. The more willing you are to leverage the knowledge and experience of these individuals, the more likely that accepting the appointment and carrying out the estate administration will run smoothly.

If you ultimately opt to proceed as called for under your loved one’s will, your next step should be to contact an attorney right away. He or she can walk you through this process to make it as painless and efficient as possible. We encourage you to reach out. Send us an email today! 

 

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm