Estate Planning in Arizona

Traditionally, many people name their oldest adult child to be the executor of their estate – but this is done out of a sense of propriety, not necessarily rationally.

Selecting your oldest to be your executor could, in fact, lead to numerous problems. Consider these:

There may be a huge potential for family conflict

Younger children may feel like you favor the eldest because the notion that birth order matters is pretty archaic. Plus, you may not even be aware of simmering resentments or hostilities between your adult children – all of which may boil over once your oldest child is perceived to have any kind of “power” over the other children due to their position as executor.

Finally, there is always the possibility for your executor to do something that creates more problems. If your oldest makes decisions for your estate that their siblings don’t agree with, that can lead to strains in even previously good relationships that may never disappear again.

There’s no guarantee your oldest can handle the job

Being the oldest child doesn’t grant someone any particular knowledge or skills – and being an executor is a big job. It involves a lot of paperwork, deadlines, practical concerns related to the preservation and management of assets, financial decisions and the ability to navigate the interpersonal dynamics between all the estate’s beneficiaries.

If your oldest isn’t financially savvy, organized, responsible, fair and living close by, you could be unduly burdening them – and your other children – through this appointment.

Ultimately, it’s better to pick “the best person for the job” as your executor, rather than rely on custom. Exploring your options as you create an estate plan can help you make a good choice.  Call or contact us for your free initial consultation.

Andre L. Pennington attributes his passion and success as an Arizona estate planning lawyer and licensed financial professional to one thing: wanting to do what’s right for his Family.