When picking an executor for your estate plan, you will likely look toward the people in your life that you feel closest to. For many, this will include family members either from your immediate or your extended family.
But are there situations in which it is better to turn toward someone else, rather than the family member you first set your sights on?
Duties of an executor
Executor.org discusses the duties unique to an executor. In summation, executors essentially shoulder the burden and weight of the entire estate. They have to organize the funeral and manage what happens to your body. They must manage your estate finances, including knowing what bills to terminate and which ones to pay off. They have to handle your final taxes. They must communicate with your lawyers and others working on the estate to make sure everyone is on the same page.
On top of that, they also have to distribute your assets to the beneficiaries listed in your will after everything gets paid off and settled. And they must do all of this while simultaneously handling their own grief.
The process of managing an estate can last anywhere from months to years. It is no small task, and an executor must know going into the arrangement that they will potentially give years of their life to managing these affairs.
When to reconsider
So your relative of choice may not serve as the best pick if they do not have the time to spare, such as if they just started a family or moved to another country. They might also not serve as a good pick if they do not have the skills necessary to manage such a huge task relatively alone.