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Common Misconceptions About Executors

Wills Lawyer

One of the most important aspects of creating a will is choosing the right executor. An executor is responsible for paying your outstanding debts and distributing your assets to the proper heirs. As such, it is important to appoint someone who is trustworthy, organized and impartial. With that being said, here are the most common misconceptions about executors.

An Executor Has to Be a Family Member

When deciding on an executor for their will, most people look to family members. They may appoint an adult child or sibling ast their executor. However, you definitely aren’t required to appoint a family member as your executor. If you don’t feel like any of your family members can handle the job, you can always appoint a third-party, like a lawyer, as your executor.

An Executor Can’t Be a Beneficiary

This is another common myth about executors. The truth is that you are allowed to name an executor who is also a beneficiary. In fact, those who know the most about your estate are also the individuals you want as your beneficiaries.

Naming One Executor Is Sufficient 

When creating a will, many people just choose just one person as their executor. However, even if this person is very dependable and trustworthy, it’s in your best interest to select an alternate executor. The future is uncertain, and you never know if your executor won’t be able to fulfill the role years from now. If you appoint at least one other executor, you can have a peace of mind knowing someone will take care of your estate after you’re gone.

An Executor Is Allowed to Manage Your Assets If You Become Incapacitated

If you become physically or mentally incapacitated during your lifetime, your executor actually won’t be able to manage your assets for you. An executor is only permitted to manage your assets after your death, not when you’re still alive. If you want someone to manage your financial affairs if you become incapacitated, you will have to appoint a power of attorney.

You Never Have to Change Your Executor

Even if you think you have appointed the perfect person as your executor right now, things can certainly change in the future. For example, the person might move far away or your relationship may change with him or her. That is why it may be in your best interest to change your executor in certain situations.

An Executor Will Immediately Be in Control After the Testator’s Death

The executor actually does not immediately become an executor of an estate right after the testator dies. The person has to be officially appointed by the court to serve as executor. A judge can decide to disqualify an executor for various reasons. For example, if the person has a felony conviction or is considered mentally incompetent, he or she may not be able to serve as executor. 

Schedule a meeting with a Knoxville, TN wills lawyer from Carpenter & Lewis PLLC today.