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Should you make a relative your executor?

On Behalf of | May 2, 2022 | Blog, Estate Administration & Probate |

Picking an executor for your estate is an important part of setting up your estate plan. They will manage most of the estate affairs after your death, meaning you must trust them and view them as responsible.

Many people will default lean toward relatives for that reason. But is a relative really your best bet?

Trusting on an individual level

CNBC discusses ways to select an executor for your estate. You want to have two primary concerns addressed when making this choice. First, do you trust the individual in question? Second, do you trust them to uphold their abilities as an executor? These are two different but equally important categorizations.

In terms of trust on an individual level, you must know that your choice of executor has your best interests in mind. You should hold similar beliefs, world views and mindsets. This allows for the executor to make decisions on your behalf even if you no longer can, and have those decisions represent your own wants and desires closely.

But trust goes beyond simply knowing whether or not someone is a good person. In estate planning, in particular, the executor will carry an enormous burden of responsibility. The monitoring and oversight of the entire estate lie on the executor’s shoulders. Thus, you need to trust that your pick has what it takes to stand up to the heat.

Trusting their responsibility

Your choice should have a strong sense of duty and responsibility. They should have good time management skills and interpersonal skills that allow them to interact well with grieving loved ones. They must know their way around the law or know how to get help where they need it. If the person who fits this description is a relative, all the better. But it is a good idea not to box yourself into this notion if another non-relative would suit the task better.

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