Settling an estate often is complicated. There are so many tasks required of an estate’s executor who plays a pivotal role in settling an estate. Key responsibilities include liquidating and distributing assets, paying off creditors, settling squabbles among heirs and even searching for lost heirs.
The person in this role should have many attributes, including being dependable, organized, patient, financially savvy and fair. You felt confident when you created your will and chose your executor, but that was several years ago. Updating your will is long overdue, and among the changes to consider include selecting a new executor. Why? There are a few reasons, but it mainly comes down to your comfort level.
A better candidate, differences in values
Every three to five years, you should consider updating your will. Things change in your life and among those changes are relationships. Reexamining these relationships is crucial, especially when considering changing executors.
Here are some key reasons to make that change:
- Your original executor no longer can fulfill the time-consuming duties. Why? Perhaps they died. But now they may have a serious physical or mental illness, thus preventing them from fulfilling the important executor duties.
- You determine a better person for the role. If you created your will a long time ago, your original executor choice has aged, too, and may no longer have the stamina, energy or mental faculties to remain in the role. This is a scenario that sometimes happens if you initially choose a parent.
- You divorce your spouse, who was the initial executor.
- The executor decided he or she no longer wants to perform this role.
- You are at odds with your original choice. Your relationship has significantly changed. You no longer share the same values, while your differences prove too difficult to overcome.
This is your estate plan. You make the important decisions related to this legal document. You want to make sure you are comfortable with your choices, and that includes the person in the executor role. This person should be a trusted, knowledgeable and loyal ally.