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Who should (orshouldn’t) be named as an estate administrator?

Documenting your end-of-life wishes can be an emotional and complicated process. Not only is it difficult to think about what will happen when you are no longer in control of your assets and/or well-being, it can also be very complex to decide who should be tasked with these responsibilities.

However, it can be crucial that you address these matters and put them in your estate plan so that you can maintain some sort of control over what happens to you and your assets. During this process, you will find that you are to name someone as the administrator of your estate. Before you do this, you will want to consider the people who may or may not be well-suited for this responsibility.

Administering an estate can be time-consuming and complex. It requires that a person be detail-oriented and capable of navigating legal processes by themselves or with the help of attorneys. It can also be beneficial to name someone with a vested interest in how your estate is administered. 

A good choice for an estate administrator, therefore, will be someone who is:

  • Honest
  • Organized
  • A good communicator
  • Level-headed
  • A primary beneficiary (in many cases)

Some characteristics that could hinder a person’s ability to be a strong administrator could include:

  • Being estranged from your family
  • Living out of state
  • Being too young or immature to tackle complex legal processes
  • Having a history of or the potential to make unwise or unlawful decisions
  • Lacking any interest in fulfilling your wishes

Before you settle on who to assign as the administrator of you estate, it is crucial that you consider how that person would be able to handle such a responsibility.

You can discuss choosing an executor as well as an alternate executor with your attorney. You can also discuss what you can do to make the task of administering your estate easier for whoever will be doing it. Having legal guidance and support can help you make decisions that protect your wishes and hopefully minimize the potential for conflict.

Source: FindLaw.com, “Choosing the Executor FAQ,” accessed on Jan. 20, 2016