Should Your Children Be Your Executors? Weighing the Pros and Cons
Although naming your children as the executor of your will is a fairly common practice, you’ll want to consider all of your options before you make a final decision. An executor has several legal and financial responsibilities, so it’s natural to choose a child you know you can trust when considering possible executors. With that said, selecting a more neutral party can several advantages.
Understanding Executors’ Legal Responsibilities
Above all else, the executor of your last will and testament is responsible for making sure that your estate is divided amicably among your family members. In addition, it’s the executor’s responsibility to notify all appropriate government entities, financial institutions, and other parties that you have passed away. Furthermore, the executor is also responsible for filing your last income tax return and all estate tax forms.
Selecting Your Executor
Even if all of your children have always been very responsible, you’ll want to make sure they are comfortable handling legal and financial paperwork before you even think about naming one of them as the executor of your will. You’ll also want to consider whether being the person to file paperwork on your behalf after you have passed away would cause undue emotional stress.
Also, if you have more than one child, then picking only one to be the executor may offend the other siblings. After all, everybody in the family may end up wondering if the executor is favoring himself or herself in the distribution of your estate.
The Advantages of Choosing a Neutral Party
Since being an executor can be so emotionally draining, many people choose to appoint relatives, close friends, or a qualified attorney instead of their children. Bringing in a neutral party to distribute your estate can help put everybody named in your will at ease, and people are less likely to end up feeling slighted or conspired against. A trust administration lawyer in Las Vegas may be able to help you evaluate your options.