Can The Beneficiary Of My Estate Also Be My Executor?

I’ve received several emails the past few weeks asking whether it is possible for a beneficiary of an estate to also serve as executor.

Naming someone as the executor of your estate does not preclude him or her from inheriting from you. In fact, the executor can and often is a beneficiary of the estate.

An executor is a person charged with the responsibility of winding up your affairs after you die. The executor’s duties include:

  1. Inventorying and collecting your assets;
  2. Managing the assets during the administration of the estate;
  3. Receiving and paying the claims of creditors and tax collectors; and
  4. Distributing the remaining assets to your beneficiaries.

Since family members are often the people we trust most, appointing family members as executors is very common. For example, spouses often name each other as the executor of their estate. It is also common for a parent to name a son or daughter to serve as executor.

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