5 Tips for Choosing a Trustee or Executor

When going through the estate planning process, there are many things to consider. Deciding what you want to happen to your various assets may be difficult at times, but it is what most people need to think about throughout this experience. What many people fail to give a lot of thought to, however, is deciding who should serve as the trustee or executor of their Will, trusts, or other estate planning documents.

Choosing the right person (or people) to serve in these roles will help give you confidence that your wishes will be carried out. More importantly, it will help to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible for your loved ones when the time comes.


Having someone who is trustworthy is, by far, the most important thing when selecting an executor or trustee. While the law will require that they act based on your interests, they will still have extensive decision-making responsibilities, so you want to ensure they are not tempted toward serving their own desires.

Mature and Responsible

In many situations, the person who is acting as an executor or trustee will have a lot of responsibilities. This may go well beyond just collecting up your assets and distributing them according to your wishes. Choosing someone who is mature and responsible enough to fulfil all of their responsibilities is critical for avoiding any delays or other problems.

Smart Fiduciary

From the time you pass away (or, in many cases, become incapacitated) to the time when your assets are distributed, the person serving in these roles will be making a variety of decisions on your behalf. This often means deciding what to do with investments, including choosing when and how to sell them (if applicable). Having a smart fiduciary that is capable of making the best decisions possible will help to protect your estate and your loved ones.

Able to Avoid or Settle Conflict

While everyone hopes their loved ones will come together during a difficult time, the reality is that when going through an inheritance process, conflict often arises. A good executor or trustee should be able to help to avoid or settle conflict so that legal complications can be avoided. If it does become necessary to get the courts involved, they need to be able to aggressively fight for your interests.

Kept Current

One last tip to keep in mind when selecting a trustee or executor is that you should reevaluate your decision periodically. For example, if you initially choose a trusted brother-in-law to serve in this role, but then you go through a divorce, it would likely make sense to make a change. It is generally a good idea to review your estate plan, including who you select for these roles, once per year.

Getting the Help You Need

Whenever making any decisions related to your estate plan, it is important that you have an attorney there to help. In addition to offering insights regarding who you choose for an executor or trustee, they can make sure the person you select is properly added to your plan. Contact McMahon Law Group to discuss these important decisions today.

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McMahon Law Group

Legal issues of any type can be a frightening and overwhelming experience, and certainly something you don’t want to face alone. Attorney Jacque McMahon and the McMahon Law Group will work closely with you to ensure you not only get the best legal representation possible, but that you are well-informed throughout the process. If you are facing legal issues, please contact us to discuss your situation and get the help you need.

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