An executor is a critical component of a will and estate plan. This person – typically willing, trustworthy and financially savvy – has a great responsibility in a thankless job distributing the estate’s assets, working with attorneys and heirs, resolving disputes and paying outstanding debts and bills.
Every time you update your estate plan, though, you also must ask yourself whether the person you named as executor should continue in that role. Did you have a falling out with this person in the past few years? Does this person no longer share the same vision and values you? These are times when you should consider changing your executor.
No longer willing or shares same values
An executor must also be confident in this role, patient and energetic when dealing with a variety of issues and an assortment of personalities. However, you as the testator ultimately must be comfortable in your choice of the executor.
Here are some reasons as to when to consider changing the executor:
- The death of your originally chosen executor.
- Your original choice now suffers from a serious illness, thus preventing him or her from fulfilling the executor’s obligations.
- In the years since you created your will, the executor has dramatically aged or no longer has the stamina and mental capacity to perform the task.
- You are now divorced from your spouse, who was the original executor.
- Your executor asks to be relieved of the responsibilities of this role because he or she no longer wants to do it.
- You had a falling out with the executor, who may longer share your values.
When creating or updating a will, you must take careful consideration in every aspect. The duties of an executor are important. And you want someone who will look out for your estate in that role.