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Do You Want Your Child to Be Your Executor or Trustee?

Without thinking about it too much, many people designate one of their children to be the executor of their estate. They should think about it carefully, before doing so.

The executor of your estate should be someone you trust to handle your estate just as you want it handled. You want to be certain that the executor will faithfully follow the instructions laid out in your will, including distributing your assets according to your wishes.

Trustee

Being an executor is not an easy job. If people do not know what they are doing, it is very easy for them to make mistakes. They can often be held personally liable for those mistakes.

An executor does more than just distribute the assets of the estate. He or she must be able to communicate with the court and with any heirs about the estate. If, for example, the executor and a sibling do not get along, there can be problems. In some cases, executors will need to invest assets for a period of time, before they can be distributed. The executors need to do that investing wisely.

Before naming one of your children to be the executor of your estate, think through whether it is a role you really want that child to have. It might be better, in some cases, to name a professional.

Reference: Texas Lawyer (March 6, 2018) "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Executors."

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