Choose the best executor for your estate plan

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | Estate Planning

If you’re thinking about signing a last will and testament and other documents that can help prepare your Kansas estate, you might also be discerning who you’ll choose and ask to be your representative when you die and your estate goes through probate. Most people consider it an honor to play a key role in the administration of another person’s estate. When you choose an executor for your estate plan, there are several key issues to keep in mind.  

Just because you want a particular person to serve as executor of your estate doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is capable or willing. So, the first thing to remember is to ask the person you have in mind ahead of time before you list them as an executor or sign your will. It’s best to have several people in mind for the duty, in case the first person you ask declines.  

Choose an executor for your estate plan who will be objective  

Sadly, when people die, estate issues often spark contention between family members, sometimes leading to full-on disputes where relationships become fractured and people stop talking to each other. Such situations often arise when one or more people want to contest a will or believe that someone else in the family received favoritism regarding an inheritance. 

Especially if you have a blended family or have had multiple marriages, you might want to think twice before naming a close family member as your executor. If you do so, choose someone who can be impartial when carrying out the duties of your estate. Avoid choosing someone who tends not to get along with other family members, such as a spouse from a second marriage who doesn’t get along with one or more of your children. 

An executor should be someone who has no problem adhering to deadlines 

You might have a person in mind to serve as your executor whom you love and trust. However, if he or she often procrastinates, is late arriving to family events or work, and basically has trouble getting things done on time, you might want to choose someone else. An executor often must complete tasks (such as filing tax forms) by a specific date, so the person you choose should be organized and motivated to get a job done in a timely manner.  

You can enlist support from a professional who understands Kansas estate laws 

Many people choose co-executors to manage their Kansas estates. For example, you might ask your adult son or daughter to serve alongside an estate law attorney. Then, you would have a family member you love and trust whom you believe can fulfill the role but would also have a professional who is well-versed in state laws, which can be helpful if a particular legal complication arises. 

Always remember that, if you are of sound mind and do so in accordance with Kansas laws, you can amend or update your estate plan. This doesn’t mean you should just randomly choose someone to serve as executor, knowing that you can change it later, if needed. It’s always best to carefully consider all options and choose the person or people whom you believe are best fit to carry out the duty.