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How to choose the right trustee or executor

It doesn't matter if you're creating a will or trust, there are sure to be a number of high level decisions you need to make during the estate planning process.

With a will, it's up to you to choose an executor. With any type of trust, you'll be asked to choose a trustee.

While this sounds simple enough, you need to consider all your options to ensure yourself of making a confident decision.

Here are a few tips that can put you on the right track:

  • Make a list of all the people you are considering. Don't assume that someone, such as a spouse, will make the best trustee or executor. You should start with a list of three to five people (if available) and then go from there.
  • Choose someone who will be around to do the duties in the future. For example, you don't want to choose a trustee or executor who is many years older than you, as this person could pass on before you.
  • Talk to the person about your decision. It's easy to believe that a person will happily serve as your trustee or executor, but you won't know for sure until you sit down and have a conversation about what it entails. You should never name a person to this important position unless you have their permission.
  • Check back often. The trustee or executor you choose today may not make sense for your estate plan at some point down the road. That's why you need to regularly review every aspect of your estate plan.

These are just a few of the many tips you can use when choosing a trustee or executor. If you take this approach, you will find it easier to make a confident decision.

There's a lot to think about when creating a will or trust. In addition to choosing a trustee or executor, you may have concerns about probate litigation or upsetting a loved one with your estate planning decisions.

Fortunately, when you know your legal rights and what you're trying to accomplish, it's much easier to overcome any potential pitfall.

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