Proper estate planning is critical to your family’s future stability. That’s one reason why it’s one of the most loving actions someone can take.
That means there’s a lot riding on the shoulders of the executor you choose to manage your estate. However, too many people don’t give enough consideration to their choice.
Don’t fall prey to these errors
Choose wisely, and you can rest assured that your estate will be handled properly. Choose poorly, and your estate can end up stuck in the red tape of probate for far too long.
Here are the top four things you want to avoid:
- Choosing the wrong executor: You need to pick someone who is up to the task, so don’t appoint anybody who crumbles under pressure or can’t stay organized. You also want to pick someone who won’t “stir the pot” of any family drama. In other words, don’t appoint your oldest child to be your executor if they don’t get along well with their siblings.
- Not having a back-up executor: A lot of people choose their spouse as their executor, but they never consider the possibility that they could die together in an accident or die close together in time. Unless you have a back-up executor in place, that will definitely extend the probate process.
- Not keeping your executor informed: Never appoint anybody as your executor until they’ve agreed to take on the responsibility — and make sure that you trust them with your personal information. Your executor needs to know where to find the original copy of your will, how to access your financial records and more.
- Choosing co-executors: Sometimes people will name two people as “co-executors” of their estate — particularly when they have two adult children. The goal is usually to avoid conflicts and any display of favoritism. This can backfire spectacularly, however, if they refuse to work with each other. Even when they do, that means both people have to sign off on every single action with your estate — and that will add more time to the process.
Your estate plan is too important to get wrong. Learning more about estate planning and probate process and your options can help you make informed decisions along the way.