IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO MAKE A CHILD THE EXECUTOR OF YOUR ESTATE?
After a person passes away, his or her executor is responsible for managing the estate’s assets, determining what taxes are owed and paying them, distributing any assets to the beneficiaries and determining what debts need to be paid. While working with their Illinois estate planning attorneys, many wonder if they should name one of their children as the executor of their estate. Although this can be beneficial in some situations, parents should make this decision with great care.
Qualities to consider
An executor should be honest, able to communicate effectively and organized. While honesty is an extremely significant quality to look for in an executor, proper organizational skills are arguably the most important. If parents choose one of their children with the help of their Illinois estate planning attorneys to be their executor that lacks appropriate organizational skills, even though he or she is trustworthy, the distribution of assets can be a disastrous affair.
In addition to these qualities, other factors should play a role in whether or not parents choose one of their children to act as their executor. For example, before parents choose one of their children, they should carefully analyze their family dynamics. If a particular child is prone to causing problems or does not handle contentious situations with authority and respect, making him or her the executor may not be the right decision.
Parents should also remember that others will read into their decision to choose one of their children as their executor. For instance, if parents decide to make one of their children the executor of their estate simply because he or she possesses needed financial skills thanks to his or her occupation as an accountant, their other children may view this decision as favoritism.
After an executor is named
One of the main advantages of naming a child as an executor is that he or she may be available to discuss his or her parent’s last wishes with them before they pass away. Once parents make the decision to name one of their children as their executor, they should converse with their child about this responsibility and help them understand where necessary estate planning documents are kept.
Choosing an executor can be one of the most difficult aspects of the estate planning process and often has the largest impact on how estate planning-related issues unfold. Parents who wish to name one of their children as the executor of their estate may benefit from thoroughly discussing this decision with their Illinois estate planning attorneys before any estate planning documents are finalized.
Should you have any questions about naming a child as an executor or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.
Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Business Immigration, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law.
This article constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.