One of the most important decisions you can make while planning your estate in North Carolina  is choosing the right person to handle your affairs after you are gone. This can be a tough decision to make, especially since you will not be around to guide that person when they have questions or concerns.

That is why Cary wills and trusts lawyer, Jackie Bedard, has compiled a list of the top five most important questions to ask when selecting the right executor or trustee. Those questions:

  1. Will this person have my best interests and my family’s best interests at heart, no matter what? While this may seem like a common-sense question, circumstances can change in a heartbeat. Make sure to choose a person who will fight for what is right, even during a lengthy probate process or disagreements between family members.


  1. Is this person stable enough in his or her own life to take on the task of distributing my estate? Handling an estate is not a simple task, which is why you want someone who is organized and efficient. And no matter how trustworthy a person may seem, avoid choosing someone who is laden with debt or other obligations, to completely eliminate any possibility that the executor or trustee will make a decision for a personal gain.


  1. Will my family members be able to easily get along with this person? A North Carolina estate executor or trustee may be responsible for communicating with anyone who will be inheriting a portion of your estate. Make sure that whoever is chosen is someone who is personable and understanding, especially during your family’s time of grief.


  1. Have I been able to speak extensively with this person about my wishes after I am gone? It is always a good idea to sit down with the person you are considering and really talk with him or her about your expectations. Establishing guidelines now will help you and the possible trustee determine whether this is something that he or she is willing and capable of handling.


  1. Is this person likely to outlive me? Choosing your closest confidant or your spouse may be a good choice if you are looking for someone to trust, but you must also consider the facts of life and whether or not there is a chance that he or she may pass before you. Also take into consideration your candidate’s state of mind, since you will want someone who is of sound mind and capable of making good decisions.  It's also wise to name several back-ups in case life does not play out as you anticipated.

For more information on how to choose a North Carolina executor or trustee, register for an upcoming seminar or call Carolina Family Estate Planning at 919.443.3035 to schedule a Vision Meeting.

Jackie Bedard
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Attorney, Author, and Founder of Carolina Family Estate Planning