When you are working toward establishing your trust, one of the decisions you must solidify is who your executor will be. Namely, your executor will work on your behalf to maintain and distribute your assets in accordance with your wishes. Follow along to find out how you may determine who is best fit to be your executor and how one of the proficient Butler County trust attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC can guide you in the right direction.
How do I determine who should be my executor?
With the great title of executor comes great responsibility. So, you will want to select an individual who is not only willing to take on this duty but who is also able to handle this duty. With that being said, if you have an individual in mind, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you know this individual as someone who is responsible with handling money (i.e., paying bills, paying taxes, preparing tax returns, etc)?
- Do you know this individual as someone who is honest (i.e., never been charged with fraud or embezzlement)?
- Do you know this individual as someone who gets along with your intended beneficiaries (i.e., nobody would want to file a petition with a probate judge)?
If you have several individuals that you believe fit the mold as an executor, you may still incorporate all of them into your estate plan. That is, you may make one the primary executor of your estate and the other the executor of your digital estate. Or, you may make one the primary executor and the others the successors. This is a recommended assignment, anyway, in the unfortunate event that your primary executor becomes incapacitated or passes on before you have time to update your estate plan.
What other factors should I consider?
While designating a certain individual as your executor may be a personal decision, there are still strict requirements that you must abide by. For example, in the state of Pennsylvania, you may not go with your original choice of an executor if they are under the age of 18. What’s more, you may have to rethink this if your original executor no longer has the mental capacity to administer your estate. Specific examples are as follows:
- You cannot designate an individual if they become diagnosed with an intellectual disability.
- You cannot designate an individual if they become diagnosed with an incontrollable mental illness.
- You cannot designate an individual if they become diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
As you may likely conclude yourself, your estate plan is of the utmost importance and requires immediate action. So do not hesitate in reaching out to one of the talented Butler County estate planning attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC.