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Is a relative a good choice for your executor?

As an estate plan creator, you need to have an executor in place. This is one of the most – if not the absolute most – crucial figures in your entire estate plan. To that end, you may automatically want to assign one of your closest family members to the spot.

But is this the best idea? In spite of popular belief, it might not be.

The business side of an executor

CNBC discusses your potential options for executors. Of course, everyone wants a person they can rely on, a person they know well, and a person who shares similar values and ideals as them. In many cases, a close relative will fit the bill on all counts.

However, while it is important for you and your executor to get along and generally see things from the same perspective, it is just as important for you to have someone who can fill the shoes of an executor – and these are big shoes to fill.

Skills an executor needs

An executor needs to have numerous skills that not everyone possesses. This includes the ability to stay on task without a guiding hand, to organize things well, and to create and stick to deadlines along with sticking to deadlines set by others.

They need to have the ability to talk to people in emotional distress, even when they are also dealing with a stressful situation. After all, they will be the ones to contact your other loved ones about your assets.

They should also have some experience communicating with attorneys, financial advisors and other members of your estate plan. In essence, they need the ability to act as a clear leader and do it all on their own.

While your relative may be the person you trust the most, if you cannot trust them to serve well in a leadership position with a lot of heavy responsibility, they may not be your best bet.

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