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What Qualities Should I Look for When Choosing an Executor?

When they die, most people want to ensure their wishes are conducted in their families’ best interests. A will (at the least) is mandatory today, even if your only main asset is your family home. However, most families have much more at stake, such as vehicles, insurance policies, who will take care of their children or disabled relatives, etc.

You always want to do the right thing by your family; however, that reasoning can backfire if you fail to choose the right executor to ensure that your wishes are appropriately followed. 

One of the critical issues that arise is treating every family member equitably, and if you have multiple children, you may wish to give all of them control, so no favoritism is implied. The problem is that if all your children have equal authority, one or more may not have the financial background or stamina to manage the duties of an executor.

Worse than that, some of your children may have issues with others, and the pressure of working and making decisions together could create enormous family strife.

Most New Jersey wills lawyers will usually advise you to pick one responsible, mature, and trusted person so that your wishes are followed precisely and without causing family stress and emotions to explode.

Then the question becomes, “who should I choose as my executor, and why?” To start with, there are seven main qualities of an excellent executory; they are:

  • Ethical and dependable people.
  • Organized as settling a will (or even harder, an estate) requires diligence and procedure.
  • Financially savvy so that if questions from family are brought up, they have the pertinent answers.
  • Fair and impartial to all members of your family.
  • Strong-willed and and will follow your wishes no matter how tough they may be.
  • Available, as no one knows when their services may be needed.
  • Most importantly, compassionate, as this is a stress-filled and enormously emotional time for all your family members and friends.

Deciding on who to appoint as executor can be challenging. Drafting a will to make sure your wishes get followed and avoid family arguments is crucial.  Don’t attempt this process alone and get the professional advice of a local Browns Mills wills lawyer, and the entire process will be done accurately, professionally, and with empathy.

Can I Change or Reevaluate an Executory?

Yes, if you are in “sound mind,” you can always reevaluate your initial choice of executor.

Most of the time, you usually choose an executor when you draft your will. However, life changes all the time, and these changes may cause you to re-evaluate who should take on this responsibility.

For example, you could have the birth of another child or grandchild, a new marriage or divorce, or many reasons to change your current executor. Moving to another state or out of the country is another plausible reason to consider your initial choice of executor.

It is helpful to have your choice of executor as someone from your local area/state, as there may be different laws or tax issues depending on where you move. Also, you must keep track of where your current executor lives. If they move, they may be unavailable or unable to serve as executor. 

If you have questions about your initial choice of executory, obtaining the professional guidance of a local Browns Mills or New Jersey wills lawyer is mandatory.

Can the Executor of My Will Also Be a Beneficiary of it?

The simple answer is, yes, they can. This is a common occurrence, and often your will’s executor will also be one of the beneficiaries. In many ways, this makes common sense, that if the executor knows you, they may be better equipped to understand exactly what you wanted for your family.

Most states’ probate court system favors beneficiaries serving as executors if they are emotionally and otherwise equipped to do the job.

However, as expected, legal rules, laws, and regulations are involved. For example, if your beneficiary were under eighteen years of age, they would not qualify to serve as executory. Also, if the beneficiary had a past felony conviction or were a non-relative living out of state, they may not qualify for executorship.

This is another critical question for your New Jersey wills lawyer as they will usually know all the rules and legalities that are current and apply.

Are There Things My Executor Cannot Do?

Yes, there are most definitely things that an executor cannot do.

First and most importantly, your executor must always act impartially when making decisions. Your executor, or their family or friends, may not benefit in almost any way on a personal level. 

For example, suppose an asset or real estate is to be sold. In that case, the executor must be incredibly careful that all actions taken are in your family’s best interests, etc.

They are bound to conduct your instructions in the will, listen to, and advise on reasonable requests, listen to concerns and possibly educate your heirs. Any arguments among your heirs should never interfere with the executors’ duties.

You may believe your executor cannot receive monetary compensation (if not already a beneficiary), but that is usually not true.

Commonly, an executor is entitled to receive a fee for their duties. This fee ranges from 2-6% depending on the amount of assets and whether there is income generated by the estate. 

The list of legalities regarding New Jersey wills goes on and on. The last thing you want when you’re gone is for your family to be ripped apart by money, assets, or any other reason. This is one of the primary reasons to consult with a qualified and thoroughly experienced wills lawyer so that your will is drafted the first time correctly, with very little “wiggle room” regarding your decisions.

I Have to Appoint an Executor in New Jersey; How Should I Proceed?

You now must see that even what may appear to be a “simple” will, is usually a complex process with many questions, concerns, and subjects to be addressed. Not the least of these decisions is who should administer your will after you’re gone.

By sitting down and thoroughly discussing your intentions after your death with an empathetic, professional Browns Mills wills lawyer, you can be assured of getting the proper advice that you need.

Your passing will already have a devastating effect on your family and friends. Don’t let further stress worsen it, such as arguments over assets, property, and more. Consult with a professional wills lawyer and ensure all the plans you wish for your family are conducted successfully and without remorse on any family member’s part.