Your will declares your wishes concerning your estate. But you need to appoint an executor to ensure your wishes are fulfilled. The challenge you may experience when doing this is whether to pick a family member or a non-family one.
Here are three factors to keep in mind:
You know your family members well to the point of if they get along or not. If you are positive there won’t be disagreements, you can choose an executor in the family. The common choices are immediate members, such as your spouse, child or sibling. If you have more than one child, you can name all or a few as co-executors.
If it’s impossible to choose a family member, you can pick a close friend, someone you trust.
If you have a non-traditional or blended family, you should be careful when picking an executor to avoid misunderstandings. It may help to have co-executors or someone outside the family.
Size of your estate
If you have a large estate, perhaps you have real estate, businesses, jewelry, stocks, retirement plans, digital assets, assets in a different country and so on, its complexities can burden a family member or a close friend.
Therefore, it may help to use a lawyer, a trustee company or any other relevant specialist. They are trained in handling estates – they can manage yours and distribute it accordingly, making work more manageable for your beneficiaries.
Nonetheless, if you can help a loved one access the knowledge and experience they need to manage a complex estate, they may still be your option.
Choosing an executor in or outside the family can be a debatable subject. It will help to learn more about your estate to make the right call.