Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Choose Your Executor Wisely

Executor_willThere are many important things to consider when deciding to choose the right executor. Selection of the correct person is critical to the administration of an estate. An executor's responsibilities may include:

  • Taking inventory of the estate's assets
  • Collecting and protecting the estate's assets 
  • Filing the estate's tax returns and paying the taxes 
  • Handling all of the estate's claims
  • In charge of investments
  • Handing out the property to beneficiaries and
  • Liquidating assets

Many folks choose someone in the family to be an executor, which can be a mistake for a few reasons. One of the reasons people should not choose a family member is because they might be too emotional after the decedent’s passing. Another reason why people should not choose family members to serve an executor is if that particular family member stands to gain anything from the will. This situation may be a conflict of interest. Regardless, of who is chosen to be the executor it is wise to list at least one back up executor.

See E. Hans Lundsten, Joseph Marion III, David Riedel, Christina Scola, Estate Planning Pitfall-You've Chosen Your Executor Hastily, JD Supra, Jan. 31, 2014.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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