An Estate Planning Attorney: Signs You Picked the Wrong Executor for Your Will
To safeguard money, real estate, and personal belongings, hiring an estate planning attorney is essential. In the United States, this type of attorney offers legal advice to those who wish to be prepared in the event of a death or an accident that leaves them mentally or physically incapable of taking care of themselves.
Your estate planning attorney drafts wills, living trusts, and assists in the mitigation of taxes involving the estate. One of the discussions you will have with your attorney is who you wish to be the executor of your will. This needs to be a person you trust and someone who will be unbiased when it comes time to discuss any inheritance or debt that will be distributed. Today, the Davidson Law Group discusses some common pitfalls of will executors.
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What is an Executor?
An executor is an individual you choose to help follow through with the terms of your will. This includes dividing assets, paying debts and creditors, and to the best of their ability, carrying out your last wishes. The executor will work with your family to make sure costs are covered in terms of funeral expenses and assist with any issues that may arise due to finances. Therefore, choosing the right executor is crucial. Fortunately, your estate planning attorney can help you with this.
Common Executor Pitfalls
At Davidson Law Group, we get questions about choosing an executor all the time. To give our clients a better understanding of how to choose, we’ve compiled a list of executor pitfalls to avoid.
#1. Lacking Experience
If your executor lacks experience, he or she may not understand the duties required to properly execute a will. It helps to have some knowledge of law and accounting or tax filing to avoid issues with your will. Your executor doesn’t necessarily need executor experience or the skills of an estate planning attorney, but he or she should research the responsibility before taking it on.
#2. Emotional Investment
All friends and family are emotionally invested in you, and when you pass it will be hard on all who knew you. However, there are some who are more emotionally invested and who would struggle with executing your will. Your spouse and children are prime examples of individuals who may be too emotionally distraught to focus on the task at hand.
#3. Bias Toward Beneficiaries
Beneficiary bias is a major problem which arises with the passing of a loved one and the distribution of the estate. If your executor is biased, he or she may not be able to successfully manage disputes which arise among beneficiaries. Friends and family members may argue over what they are entitled to, or how they wish to see your estate settled, and if your executor is unable to de-escalate these arguments, expensive legal actions could follow.
Related Post: What Happens When Your Executor Dies
Help from an Estate Planning Attorney
An estate planning attorney at the Davidson Law Group can help you decide on the best plan of action while choosing an executor. Your attorney can also work closely with your executor to help he or she understand the legal and financial obligations left to them when executing your will. For more information on choosing an executor, or to speak to an estate planning attorney, contact us today!