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Why Choosing the Right Executor and Trustee is Important in Estate Planning

Posted on in Estate Planning

Oswego, IL estate planning lawyerEstate planning is a necessary process. It ensures the division of one's assets and possessions based on their last wishes after they pass away. One of the most critical decisions is selecting the right executor and trustee. Both parties work to oversee the distribution of the deceased’s inheritance. These individuals are essential to carrying out one's last wishes. With both roles holding so much weight, selecting the right person or people for the jobs is essential.

What Is the Difference Between an Executor and a Trustee in Estate Planning?

Understanding the function of the executor and trustee is vital before choosing which person should hold this position. The role of the executor is to oversee the probate procedure. The executor's tasks are: 

  • Verifying the will

  • Paying debts and taxes

  • Transferring assets to beneficiaries. 

A trustee administers any trust established as part of an estate plan. They also preserve and distribute assets under trust documents.

4 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Executor

  • Trustworthiness: The executor should be trusted since they handle all sensitive financial matters and final will instructions. 

  • Excellent Organizational Skills: A skilled executor must be well-organized because they handle administrative tasks regularly 

  • Financial Literacy: Dealing with money is essential to the executor's work. With that in mind, this person should thoroughly understand financial matters. If needed, they can help navigate complicated financial transactions and investments.

  • Health: It is crucial to know the age and health of your executor. Avoid selecting someone significantly older, or that has life-threatening health issues. You want someone who can fulfill their responsibilities when the time arises.

4 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Trustee

  • Knowledge in Trust Management: You want someone who understands trust legislation, investments, and financial management. 

  • Fairness: A trustee acts with fairness and honesty, without favoritism. They will assign trust assets to beneficiaries.

  • Stable & Healthy: Trusts can last for many years, even generations. Choosing a stable and healthy trustee is a benefit to all parties involved.

  • Communication Skills: A trustee must be able to communicate clearly. They discuss the goals and distribution of the trust to the beneficiaries.

Who Has More Power: Executor or Trustee?

The power of the executor and trustee varies based on many unique circumstances. If the estate plan allows, one person can act in both roles.People usually appoint reliable family members as executors or trustees, but that only works for some family dynamics. We often see lawyers acting in one or both roles. An estate attorney can work as an independent and ethical professional, which avoids potential conflicts of interest.

Contact a Kendall County, IL Estate Attorney for Estate Planning Assistance

Estate planning requires a lot of high-level knowledge. An estate attorney can be a great asset, whether it is to act as an executor or trustee or bring their legal know-how to the table. Loire Krajniak Law, LLC can help you find the right estate planning solution for you. To access a free consultation from an Oswego, IL, estate attorney, please contact us at 630-448-2406



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