Choosing an executor: three alternative options when none of your loved ones are suitable

Serving Clients Throughout Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and Napa Counties

When you create a will, you need to name an executor. The executor of your will is a person who has the legal responsibility to ensure that your financial matters are handled properly after you pass away. They will likely pay bills and taxes on behalf of your estate, distribute your assets to your loved ones as instructed by your will, go to court on behalf of your estate, and maintain your property in the time between your death and when it is sold or passed on to your heirs. The executor is ideally someone you trust and respect, who is at least somewhat familiar with you and your affairs. Generally people name a family member or very close friend as their executor. But for some, this isn’t an option. Whether you have no family or close friends, or you do but you don’t trust them to handle this responsibility, it’s okay. You have other options!

  1. A Trust Company

Trust companies have extensive experience administering estates. They have the know-how to handle even very complicated issues (if any arise) that would likely confuse and overwhelm the average person. One benefit of naming a trust company as your executor is that it is a company, not an individual person, meaning you do not need to worry about them passing on before you do because the company encompasses many people and will continue on indefinitely.

  1. Your Certified Personal Accountant (CPA)

If you work with a CPA to handle your financial affairs, he or she may offer acting as an executor as an additional service. Your CPA is already intimately familiar with your finances and have accounting expertise that allows them to execute your will with ease. While they are not as widely knowledgeable about the ins and outs of managing an estate as a trust company is, if your CPA encounters any challenges outside of their wheelhouse while working as your executor, they would consult someone more knowledgeable on whatever issue they are facing.

  1. Your Bank

It is also acceptable to have your will executed by your bank. Like trust companies, they have experience in these matters. While your bank holds your assets, they will be protected by many checks and balances to keep them from being mismanaged. Another benefit, which they also share with trust companies, is that they are professional institutions, lacking emotion regarding your death or financial motivation to act unfavorably.

How to Decide

Though lacking friends or family members who would make a suitable executor of your will might seem like a major obstacle for estate planning, it’s really not such a big deal at all. You have numerous alternative options, which, in fact, may be better than choosing a loved one because they prevent someone close to you from having to deal with major financial decisions while simultaneously processing their emotions surrounding your death.

If you are ready to create your estate plan, the Carroll Law Office team is here to help. We can assist you in creating a plan that will tackle any perceived obstacles, such as lacking a suitable executor. Our team has extensive experience handling every aspect of estate planning. Contact us today to get

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