Do family members make good executors?

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Carl S. Goode |

When choosing an executor, a family member may seem like the natural first option to lean toward.

However, family members do not always make for good executors. What are the biggest potential issues with leaning on a family member in these situations?

The skills of a good executor

Forbes discusses the duties and responsibilities that executors must uphold. They act as the manager of an estate and often have a lot on their plate. They manage legal matters, financial matters, the entire probate process, and dealing with beneficiaries to divide up remaining estate assets.

This slew of responsibilities requires a strong set of skills, too. It includes, but is not limited to, managerial and leadership skills, time management capabilities, and social skills as they will be handling bereaved individuals in their own time of grief.

On top of that, issues may appear in the event of a conflict of interest. While plenty of people make a beneficiary their executor, this does not make an executor immune to situations where what they have to gain as a beneficiary may be at odds with their executor duties and responsibilities.

Having time to serve an estate

Finally, executors need to be willing to set aside a decent chunk of time to be an executor. The probate process can last years, and they will have to be present through the whole of it. Thus, people with an unstable lifestyle or plans for major life changes may not be the best option for an executor, even if they fit the bill in every other respect.

It is important to find a good executor, so make sure to start the hunt early.

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