When selecting an individual to act as an executor or an administrator of your estate, many people in California ask a family member or a close, trusted friend to do the job. However, for some people, this choice is not possible or practical. Consider these attributes when deciding if you need to hire a professional executor.
Five characteristics to evaluate
Choosing an executor is one of the most critical facets of estate planning, especially if you have considerable assets. When evaluating your course of action, consider the following:
- Expertise in legal and financial matters
- Complex family dynamics resulting in possible hurt feelings
- Legal responsibilities in estate administration
- Time and location
- Feasibility of a co-executor
Even though you must ask your chosen representative if they want to act in that capacity, you must also consider their fitness for that role. Your family member may not have financial or legal knowledge or the time to do all the tasks an executor requires. In addition, if you have estranged family members, they may resent your chosen executor. If you have any of these situations, hiring a professional may be more feasible.
Don’t hesitate to seek help
Many people hesitate about creating an estate plan because they are overwhelmed with the whole process. Yet, the longer you wait, the more likely you won’t have something in place when you pass away. Your entire estate may go into probate and take longer to resolve. Furthermore, having a plan to protect your legacy and establish the necessary documents to manage your affairs should you become incapacitated will protect you and your heirs.
You can change estate documents at any point, including your executor and other appointed representatives. Consulting friends or professionals who have been through the process can put you on the right path.