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How Do I Select An Executor If I Do Not Have Children?

Posted on December 15th, 2021

Our Daly Mills Estate Planning attorneys in Mooresville help our fellow North Carolina residents make informed decisions about their futures, so they can plan with confidence.

That includes assisting our clients in weighing their options for choosing an Executor of their estate when they do not have children or close relatives that would make a more obvious choice.

Here is what our Iredell County asset protection attorneys want our clients to know about the importance of choosing an Executor.

What is an Executor?

The Executor of an estate who may also be referred to as a personal representative administers the estate according to the instructions that you have outlined in your Will.

It is his or her job to settle any final debts owed by you or the estate and to distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries that you named in your Will.

Your personal representative will speak on your behalf and carry out your final wishes when you are no longer able to do so.

Why Do I Need an Executor?

One of the most important decisions our clients make during the estate planning process is choosing an Executor.

While most people depend on an adult child to fill the role, for those who do not have children, other relatives, friends, and professionals can be called upon to fill the position.

This is important for everyone, no matter the size of their estate, as the failure to nominate an Executor in your Will means the court will choose your Executor for you, which could inadvertently jeopardize your legacy.

How Do I Choose an Executor?

Since no two estates are the same, it is important to assess the totality of what you are asking someone to do when fulfilling the role of Executor.

If your estate is straightforward, easy to administer, and includes beneficiaries who agree on the terms of the Will, the process may go smoothly and can be accomplished by a close friend or loved one who agrees to take the role and ultimately understands their duties.

If your estate is complicated and includes multiple properties, sophisticated investments, or challenging family dynamics, you may be better served by choosing an Executor with a strong financial background or a neutral third party who is not personally involved in disputes between the beneficiaries.

Assess Your Beneficiaries as Potential Executors

If you do not have any children and plan to leave the assets of your estate to a close friend or relative, it is perfectly reasonable to assess their ability to take the role of Executor.

A friend or relative who is receiving a sizeable share of your estate has the motivation to ensure it is administered accurately and efficiently and will care enough about you to be committed to ensuring that your wishes are honored.

If it is not a person but a charity or another beneficiary, consider a professional fiduciary for the position. Banks, financial advisors, attorneys, and accounting firms all have professional fiduciaries willing to serve as Executors and Trustees.

Contact Our Skilled Charlotte, NC Estate Planning Attorneys Today

Our Mooresville, North Carolina estate planning attorneys can help you and your family create legally binding powers of attorney and wills, and trusts that provide confidence for your future.

To learn more about how we can help you and your family create a customized estate plan to protect your wishes, call us at 704-286-8437 to schedule an initial consultation with our skilled attorneys in Mooresville, North Carolina at Daly Mills Estate Planning today.