When choosing an executor, be mindful that upon your death the executor of your estate is responsible for managing your assets and estate, and must read, understand, and implement the auspices of the will, including:

  • notifying the next of kin; 
  • securing property, goods, and assets that belonged to the Testator; 
  • assessing the financial needs of the estate; and
  • freezing certain assets until Grant of Letters Probate is received.

The complexity of these tasks often hinges on the state of your affairs and the size of the estate; the larger an estate, the more likely it is that an executor may encounter unanticipated complications, and the more obligations he or she will have to meet. As such, whom you choose to be the executor of your estate is an important decision.

Choosing an Executor: Using a Probate Lawyer as Executor

If you have a large estate, it’s advised that you either select a probate lawyer as your executor or that your executor retain the services of a lawyer so as to mitigate the potential for harm, error, or confusion in the administration of your estate and the settling of your affairs.

Although a financial and legal background is not required, an executor that has either of these – or the resources of a probate lawyer – is likely to face fewer frustrations throughout the probate process.

Finally, before you select someone as your executor, speak with the individual so that you know he or she is capable and willing to take the job. Craft a letter of instruction that details where your records are and where he or she can find other important items and documentation and keep a copy of that letter with your will.

A Pennsylvania estate planning or probate lawyer from Unruh, Turner, Burke & Frees is ready to answer your questions about choosing an executor, so call our offices today – 1-610-933-8069.



David M. Frees, III
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Attorney, Speaker and Author