3 reasons to replace an agent or executor in an estate plan

On Behalf of | Jun 25, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning is as much about choosing the right people to manage someone’s interests as it is about providing instructions regarding the distribution of one’s property. In fact, both the living documents and testamentary documents included in an estate plan required the support of individuals selected by the testator in many cases.

The executor who handles someone’s state will have to secure, manage and distribute an individual’s assets. An agent named as a power of attorney is also very important to the fulfillment of an individual testator’s wishes if they experience in capacity. Obviously, if the person that someone chooses for that important role dies, the testator will need to name someone else to manage their affairs. There are other scenarios in which it may be necessary to choose a different executor or agent. These are some of the most common reasons that people update who will manage their affairs.

Personal struggles

Someone who was responsible earlier in life could develop bad habits or substance abuse issues that any point with little warning. If someone who will have access to an individual’s resources has personal issues like gambling or substance abuse that would lead to the mismanagement or misappropriation of those assets, it may be in everyone’s best interests to replace them.

A declining relationship

Those who no longer have a positive relationship with the testator may decline responsibility when the time arises or might perform their role half-heartedly. Either scenario could be very problematic for the testator and their dependent family members. If there has been some kind of breakdown in the relationship between the testator and their agent or executor, they may need to update their paperwork to select someone who will still work diligently on their behalf after accepting the role in good faith.

A relocation

Perhaps a family friend someone selected to serve as executor divorced and then moved across the country to live with their children. Although it is possible for someone in another state to manage the probate process with the help of an attorney, there can be more challenges and expenses involved if the executor is very far away. The same is true for an agent who would need to manage someone’s medical or financial matters in the event of their incapacitation.

Those who regularly review and update their estate planning documents will have better protection for themselves and their family members in the event of an emergency. Keeping one’s estate planning paperwork up-to-date requires regular review and an understanding of when certain changes are necessary or otherwise warranted.