Not all executor options you have are created equal.
The role of executor (or "executrix" when a female, or "personal representative" for the more politically correct gender-neutral approach) for an estate is important.
You do not want to take the decisions lightly.
According to a recent article in The Brainerd Dispatch titled “How to find an estate plan executor outside of your immediate family,” an executor should be willing to take on the responsibilities, should be capable of seeing them through and should understand the nuances of your specific situation.
Who might be able to do this?
Ideally, but not necessarily, he or she should have some basic financial, accounting or legal knowledge.
Most importantly, however, this person should be trustworthy ... and have common sense (which is not all that common these days).
These traits are non-negotiable.
Your appointed executor should be able to recognize when he or she in "uncharted waters" and be willing to ask an experienced estate planning attorney for help to safely negotiate the dangerous shoals.
For some folks, the best third party choice would be an experienced estate planning attorney.
An estate planning attorney is particularly capable, given the unique education, skill and knowledge required in area of law practice.
Avoid selecting a financial advisor.
Although extremely intelligent, talented and integral, your financial advisor may be viewed by others as a walking and talking conflict of interest in a suit.
If your financial advisor comes wrapped in a broker-dealer, then the financial advisor will be prohibited from serving by its compliance department to boot, unless there is an exception for serving as executor over the affairs of a close family member.
Once you have selected an executor, your job is not quite done.
What else could there be?
Preparing your executor.
How do you do this?
Review your estate plan with your executor.
Provide the location of your estate plan and financial documents.
By taking care of these basic details, you can go a long ways toward simplifying your estate transfer, avoiding unnecessary (and messy) legal entanglements and maintaining family peace and domestic tranquility.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Brainerd (MN) Dispatch (December 23, 2016) “How to find an estate plan executor outside of your immediate family”