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Dorothea J. Kingsbury Estate Planning & Probate Attorney

Have you fully considered your choices for executor?

Estate planning means that you will need to focus on many aspects of your life and decide how you would want your affairs handled in the event of your death or if you need extended care. Because the closing of an estate holds so much importance, you will undoubtedly want to ensure that you give your surviving family the best chance at completing the process in a timely and smooth manner.

One of the biggest decisions made during the estate planning process that could affect your probate proceedings is who you choose to act as the executor of your estate. This person will need to have the ability to handle every step of the process to completely settle your remaining affairs and close your estate. While an immediate family member may first spring to mind, you may want to take certain considerations into account before fully making your decision.


Because the point of an executor is to close your estate after your demise, you want to choose someone who will likely live beyond you. Therefore, it makes sense to choose someone of the same age or younger, depending on your age at the time of planning. Additionally, it may also prove wise to choose a successor who is younger than your first-named executor in case your executor cannot act as needed.


The personal characteristics of your candidates may also play important roles in your choice. For instance, responsibility needs to remain at the top of your priority list when reviewing your options. Probate will involve many duties that need carrying out by the letter of the law, so your executor will need to feel comfortable following necessary procedures. Additionally, the executor may need professional help at times during the process for financial, legal or other reasons, so choosing someone who is not afraid to seek help may also be wise.


You may also want to remember that certain individuals cannot take on the role of executor for legal reasons. If someone you want to choose has a criminal record, he or she may not legally have the ability to take on the role. Additionally, someone who is not a U.S. citizen and lives outside the United States will likely also not have the ability to fulfill the position. If you name an executor with these or other disqualifying factors, issues could arise when the during the probate process.

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Good Advice. Real Solutions.

I am attorney Dorothea J. Kingsbury. I provide good advice and real solutions to challenging problems. I can help you choose and personalize estate planning instruments that meet your family's present and future needs. I can develop elder law strategies that ensure proper care for your loved ones. I can guide you through the probate/estate administration process when a family member has passed away. I can help make sure your interests are protected during your real estate transaction. I am here to make things easier.

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