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If you are thinking about replacing your executor

If you have already appointed an executor, you have obviously taken steps to ensure that your financial and legal matters will be in order after you have passed away. Congratulations to you for being so proactive. Please however, keep in mind that estate planning is meant to be a “living” process. Meaning, your estate plan is meant to be revised as often as it needs to be during the course of your life.

When important life events occur, including deaths in the family, marriages, divorces, births, adoptions, receipt of new and significant assets, changes in the tax code, etc. you and your attorney may be able to work together to ensure that your estate plan accurately reflects your family’s changes in circumstance. Similarly, if your executor’s life circumstances have made it important to replace him or her as your executor, you and your attorney can work together to reflect this shift.

Obviously, if your executor has passed away or has become physically incapable of performing executor duties, this shift in circumstances would clearly illustrate a need to name a new executor. However, you may also benefit from replacing your executor if other circumstances warrant such a change.

For example, if you chose your executor based on your understanding that he or she is both responsible and detail-oriented, but you later learn that your potential executor is a white-collar criminal, is careless with money or is otherwise unfit to handle your estate plan responsibly, you may want to consider naming a new executor.

Source: Findlaw Law & Daily Life, “3 Reasons to Replace Your Executor,” Christopher Coble, May 26, 2015

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