The role of the executor of an estate is to execute your wishes in regards to your stuff. A non-professional trustee acts in a similar manner. Should one of these roles make their way to a friend or family member, it may be problematic if there are stressful relationships within your family or if multiple marriages have been involved.
The executor generally works alongside an attorney in fulfilling their responsibilities and seldom is compensated for their efforts. Have you ever called the cable company for help? Did you enjoy holding and punching the appropriate number in the hope of talking to a human that could fix your challenge? Imagine doing this for the benefit of a deceased loved one in order to send money to people of which you might not be a recipient!
And then consider the recipients all have varying understandings of finances and varying degrees of communication skills. As the executor you may well never see any earthly benefits of your efforts, maybe not even a ‘thank you’. The role of an executor is seldom one which would ever benefit benefit your resume. It may be one of the most thankless, servant-like roles you would ever offer to someone or accept. Unfortunately, not all estates are large enough to warrant a professional trustee or executor. So as you name these roles, seriously consider the people involved at the end, their personalities and that of the person you are considering naming as your executor.
Will the role suit that person well? Will they have time to act in it? Will the beneficiaries respond well to that person? Can that person handle disgruntled beneficiaries? Will that person outlive you? These are just a few questions you might ask yourself as you are naming an executor or as you review your estate documents.
Keep the faith!
This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized legal advice. Please consult your legal advisor regarding your specific situation.