When it comes to estate planning, who you choose to administer your assets and debts is just as important as what you leave behind. The wrong person as executor or personal representative can make things more difficult for everyone you love. The right person, though, will be a big help during a difficult time.
Most people choose a family member or friend to serve as an estate administrator. But an impartial third party, such as an attorney, may be a better choice. Why? Here are five of the most valuable reasons.
1. They Have Experience.
Being an executor can be a complicated job, and it's one that few people are familiar with. So your family member will have to do a lot of learning and catching up while administering your assets. When you choose a legal professional who offers this service, they have the training and experience few others have.
2. They Are Impartial.
Do you worry that your family members may not all be on the same page? If so, having a personally-involved relative or friend in charge of the estate's decisions can make things even worse. They may need to manage conflicts and make unpopular decisions — something that's much easier when the person is a trained negotiator and independent party.
3. They Have No Skin in the Game.
Self-dealing is one of the biggest risks when an heir or interested party is put in charge of the estate. Self-dealing — giving oneself sweetheart deals or taking the best items for themselves — can cause damage to the estate and the family. Prevent this by using a service that has no skin in the game, as it were. Attorneys are paid a fee to administer things, but they're not motivated to self-deal.
4. They Have Time.
Have you considered how much time your executor may need to spend managing and finalizing your assets? The time commitment can be a problem for many busy family members. If you pay a professional to do this service, they dedicate the time needed and you aren't taking away from their other activities.
5. They're Involved In Advance.
By working with an attorney for administration, you have a resource involved in estate planning as well. They can work with you to design your estate plan, ensure it's enforceable, and understand your wishes while you're still alive. This allows them to be the ideal person to follow your wishes after you pass.
Want to know more about using an attorney or other legal professional to execute your estate? Start by meeting with an estate administration attorney in your area today.