You understand the importance of updating your will and the need to give it a thorough review every three to five years or when a major life change surfaces. One such detail that, sometimes, may get overlooked is changing your executor.
The person in this role has pivotal responsibilities to settle the estate. Trusted, calm, intelligent, energetic, willing and available are crucial traits to seek in an executor. However, there are times when you know that you must replace him or her.
Your relationship changes
Here are some scenarios in which you should consider replacing an executor:
- Changes in your relationship: Perhaps you and your originally chosen executor now find yourselves on divergent paths in life. Disagreements surfaced and grew, while you find that you no longer share the same values. When trust erodes, it is time to address this discomfort.
- Original choice no longer capable: In some cases, an original choice may suffer from debilitating physical injuries or bouts with mental illness. It is obvious that this person is no capable of fulfilling these time-consuming and detail-oriented duties.
- A divorce: Some people name their spouses as executors. However, if the two of you divorce, you want to avoid any discomfort and conflict of interest by naming a new executor. Do you really want your former spouse responsible for settling your estate and distributing assets?
- Finding a better fit: Perhaps your original choice was really your consolation choice. Since you were unable to find the ideal candidate, you selected someone who was reluctant but willing. Along the way, you have found a candidate who is a better fit.
- Your executor chooses to bow out: In some cases, an executor changes his or her mind and no longer wants the responsibilities that come with the role or has the availability. It is a time-consuming job.
Selecting an executor is an important decision in estate planning. But when things change, it is a good idea to reevaluate your decision.
Solid comfort level
You want someone whom you can trust in the executor role. Your comfort level must be high, too. This is your estate and your decision to make this change. When considering candidates for the executor role, contact those people and gauge their interest and willingness to tackle the many tasks that come with it.