Do family members make the best executors?

When trying to choose an executor for your estate plan, it is likely that you will think of family members before anyone else. After all, you are likely closest to them.

However, is a family member your best option when it comes to executors?

Duties of an executor

Forbes talks about the duties unique to estate executors. Executors will take on the bulk of the tasks related to your estate plan after your death, so it is a role with heavy responsibilities. Just some of the tasks that your relative will need to handle include:

  • Ensuring your debts get paid
  • Handling your tax matters
  • Distributing your assets in accordance with your will
  • Discussing legal matters with other members of your estate plan team

Of course, they need several skills as well, such as the ability to manage time wisely, self-manage without anyone guiding them and do things in a prompt and accurate manner.

Striking the right balance

It is important for your executor to be someone that you trust. They should also be someone that you share similar world views and beliefs with, and someone you can trust to make decisions on your behalf that you would make for yourself if you could.

But that is not the only important part. Unfortunately, sometimes a relative that you may trust the most might not be equipped to handle the more responsibility-heavy parts of being an executor.

In such a case, you may want to consider turning to another family member or a friend instead, as your executor’s capabilities are also important.