As reported by Caring.com, only 34% of people in the United States have an estate plan. Planning for the future is important, and a significant part of that planning involves deciding who will manage your assets and wishes after you are gone.
This is where the role of an executor comes into play. As you dive into the intricacies of estate planning, you might come across numerous misconceptions regarding the selection of an executor. To make an informed decision, it is important to separate fact from fiction.
The oldest child should always serve as the executor
Many people believe that the eldest child should automatically take on the role of executor. However, age alone does not guarantee that someone is the best fit for the task. It is more important to consider an individual’s ability to handle financial matters, their organizational skills and their emotional readiness to take on such a responsibility.
An executor must reside in Illinois.
You might think that your executor must live in the same state as you, but this is not a strict requirement in Illinois. While it might be convenient for your executor to live nearby, especially when dealing with local property or assets, you should prioritize choosing someone trustworthy and capable, regardless of their residence.
The executor cannot be a beneficiary
There is a common belief that an individual cannot be both an executor and a beneficiary of a will. This is not true. In fact, it is quite common for people to choose a close family member or friend who also stands to inherit from the estate. The key is to select someone who will act in the best interests of all beneficiaries.
Once chosen, you cannot change your executor
Your circumstances and relationships can change over time. It is a myth that once you name an executor, you cannot make a change. If you believe that a different individual would be better suited for the role, you can always amend your will to reflect your updated choice.
When crafting your estate plan, it is important to base your decisions on accurate information. By debunking common misconceptions about choosing an executor, you empower yourself to make choices that truly reflect your wishes and ensure the smooth management of your estate in the future.