Choosing An Executor and Trustee . . . Some Things to Consider


One of the most common questions I receive from clients is, “Who should I choose to administer my will and trust?” In providing clients with advice on this topic, I like to start by explaining what each role is, describing some of the typical tasks and responsibilities involved.



We then discuss the personal characteristics that the chosen representative should have. I provide guidance regarding potential mistakes that these fiduciaries are susceptible to making. And, perhaps most importantly, I advise clients to make very thoughtful, objective choices rather than making them out of a perceived sense of duty or to avoid hurt feelings (i.e., the oldest child may not be the best choice.)


Here are some things you should consider when choosing your Executor and Trustee:


Personal Characteristics.


  • Honest, Trustworthy, Fair

  • Organized

  • Savvy enough to know when the guidance of a professional (accountant, appraiser, etc.) is needed

  • Humble enough to ask for help

  • Diplomatic (will work well with your beneficiaries)

  • Willing to accept the responsibility of serving


Common Mistakes Representatives Make.


  • Failing to identify all of the estate’s assets and debts

  • Failing to collect, protect, and invest the assets properly  

  • Failing to establish a list of legal priority before paying off debts

  • Failing to exercise discretion when distributing assets to beneficiaries

  • Failing to recognize when professionals are needed - (estate planning attorney, etc.)

  • Failing to file necessary documents, such as probate forms and federal tax returns


Hopefully, these tips will help you identify the person(s) in your life who will be the best for the job. A neutral, objective party, such as a trust company, may be the best choice for your unique situation. This decision can be confusing or overwhelming, so it is always advisable to reach out to a reputable, experienced estate planning attorney to assist you in the process.


Contact Loftus Law Offices, PLLC today to discuss your estate planning needs and to receive valuable guidance when making the tough decisions. We can be reached at 603-465-7178 and at infoThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.