The executor carries out the provisions of your will, including the division and distribution of your assets, after you pass away. Many appoint family members as their executors, usually their spouses or adult child. However, you might also consider selecting someone who is not a relative. There are several reasons such a decision might work for your situation.
Family relationships are often complex, and members may have issues with one another. Your executor may have disagreements with your beneficiaries, or some of your family members may see your executor’s appointment as a sign of favoritism. Such issues might prevent your executor from being able to perform their duties faithfully. It is also possible for such conflicts to culminate in chaotic and costly court battles over your estate.
Appointing a third party as your executor may help prevent accusations of favoritism. Their outsider status might also allow your executor to resist the influence of your family’s dynamics and be more neutral when performing their duties.
Some of your family members may not respect a relative who is your executor for several reasons, including resentment and the executor’s age. They might even question the executor’s authority and their ability to administer the provisions of your will correctly.
Appointing your lawyer, bank, or accountant as executor can help prevent this issue. These parties usually understand estate laws and often have prior experience executing past clients’ wills. These reasons might encourage your surviving family members to respond more amiably and with less disagreement.
Executors have a critical function, which they must be able to perform with utmost neutrality. If there is any reason for you to believe that appointing a relative for such an important responsibility may lead to issues, then a third party might be a better choice.