Estate Planning Lawyer
Many people choose one of their immediate family members to serve as an executor of their will. However, not everyone may want to be an executor. If none of your family members will agree to take on the role of executor, you may have to look at alternative options.
What an Executor Does
An executor is responsible for making sure the final wishes of the deceased individual are carried out and protecting assets. The executor must pay the testator’s debts before distributing assets to beneficiaries. Being an executor is a huge responsibility, and not everyone may be up for the task. People who work full-time jobs and families of their own to take care of may not have the time to be an executor. That is why it is important to ask the person ahead of time.
Some people may turn down the role of executor because they are afraid of family tension. If some family members do not receive as much as others, they may become angry and take it out on the executor. This can cause a lot of additional stress.
What to Do If No One Wants to Be an Executor
If you have already asked several family members to serve as executor and they have all declined, you might feel frustrated and unsure about what to do next. However, all hope is not lost. Here are some options to consider.
- Your lawyer or certified financial planner. If you can’t find any people within your family to serve as executor, you may want to look at your lawyer or certified financial planner for assistance. A legal or financial professional may already know about your financial situation and estate plan. They may already know how the probate process works and will make sure everything goes smoothly. A lawyer or certified financial planner can also remain neutral and reduce conflict during the process more than someone who is emotionally involved in the estate.
- A bank or trust company. In Tennessee, you can appoint a bank or trust company as your executor as long as it is authorized to act as a fiduciary.