Attorneys Permitted as ExecutorMany people wishing to have a new Will prepared are uncertain as to who to select as Executor. The Rules of Professional Conduct permit an attorney to serve as Executor of an estate. The following are 5 reasons why people have selected attorneys as Executors:
1. Attorneys who are not family members are not influenced by past family concerns or squabbles. Attorneys often have the staff and resources to liquidate assets, do paperwork, pay creditors and distribute assets to beneficiaries.
2. There may be no family members in New Jersey to go to Surrogate's office and qualify as Executor.
3. Family members not able to open and balance check-book and financial records due to age or inexperience.
4. No one in family wants to be executor.
5. Children fight amongst each other - Attorneys are independent.
The last thing you want is your heirs arguing over their inheritances after you are gone. So, to avoid hard feelings and even legal disputes, here are few helpful tips to consider:
Make a valid Will. A Will is a legal record to tell your loved ones how you want your property divided. Leaving a valid Will is the best way to be clear about your desires and wishes. Without a Will, the state in which you live Will distribute your assets for you according to law.
Don't leave verbal instructions to your heirs. Oral instructions don't have any legal effect. For example, don't leave your business in your Will to the oldest child, but then verbally ask that child to share the proceeds with your other children after your death. Your oldest child doesn't have any legal obligations to do so, and you could - unintentionally - create hard feelings among your children.
Keep your Will updated. Your Will needs to be updated as major changes take place in your life such as marriage, divorce, birth of a grandchild, buying new property or selling existing property. An outdated Will can be just as damaging to your family as no Will at all. When planning the distribution of your estate, it is best to consult your legal advisor to make sure your wishes are carried out.