One of the most critical decisions involved in estate planning is choosing the right party to fill the role of estate executor. Some qualities to look for in your candidates include honesty, attention to detail and reliability.
Since your adult kids are familiar with your lifestyle and beliefs, you may think one of them would make an ideal estate executor. Perhaps so, but you need to weigh the pros and cons of choosing a family member before you put it in writing.
Parents who remain close to their grown children find it easier to talk with them about sensitive end-of-life matters. As you might imagine, the freedom to discuss your estate and elder health care is a big advantage.
Another benefit is that as a family member, they can likely locate your estate documents faster than non-family candidates, helping make probate more efficient. Further, your child may have more of a vested interest in fulfilling your final wishes than someone who knows you less well.
In some situations, the execution of an estate is best left to those without a familial connection, especially if you want the process to flow smoothly. Three of the most common disadvantages associated with naming your child as executor include:
- It could interfere with their ability to grieve
- It can be a problem if they live in another city or state
- It may cause a dispute between the executor and your other kids
Your plan will function best and in compliance with New Jersey estate planning laws if you give each element equal priority and consideration. Even if the execution of your estate is the last thing on your mind, it still needs your attention.