Being Named Both Executor and Beneficiary in Arizona
When a parent passes, sometimes we are shouldered with the heavy job of managing their after-death affairs. Unless this process is planned in advance and in detail with professional help, it quickly becomes a heartache.
Some bereft children are left asking themselves questions like, “How did I get named as an executor? What is an executor? What do they do? I thought I would be a beneficiary. Can you be an executor and beneficiary in Arizona?”
This panicked thought trail is not what you should have to be focused on when you’re grieving. Strangely enough, many people have appointed executors without talking to them about it. At Phelps LaClair, we want to help by making the situation more manageable.
What is an executor and what do they do?
In the world of estate planning, an executor is an individual formally appointed with the responsibility of handling all the assets in an estate or a will. Both wills and trusts can help ensure the appropriate distribution of a person’s assets after their death. Many people choose to have both, especially because trusts provide many benefits that wills cannot, like keeping an estate out of probate court.
As an Arizona citizen, it’s worthwhile to know that any estate with assets over $75,000 or properties over $100,000 is subject to probate court. However, there are ways to avoid this. Creating a properly funded trust is an excellent way to keep your assets out of court.
Four Main Duties of the Executor of an Estate
- Protecting the assets in the estate and managing them in a legally responsible way
- Letting the beneficiaries know what is in the estate, and what they are entitled to
- Paying bills, settling debts, closing accounts, and selling assets
- Divvying the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries
Can you be executor and beneficiary in Arizona?
Being named in the deceased’s will as the executor and as a beneficiary is completely legal in Arizona. So, yes—you can be both executor and beneficiary of a will or an estate. Oftentimes, a child of the deceased finds themself in this situation.
For example, when Bennett’s mother passed away, he found out that he was named as the executor in his mother’s will. Outside of the fiduciary responsibilities that come with being executor, Bennett was also listed as a beneficiary in his mother’s trust. There’s no legal conflict here—Bennett is fully able to distribute assets to himself from the estate because his mother named him the executor.
Estate and Trust Administration in Chandler, AZ
If you live in the Phoenix area and you’re looking for a qualified Trust Administrator for your estate, we’ve got you covered. Phelps LaClair is a second-generation law firm experienced in estate planning, and we’ve successfully helped many of our region’s families with trust administration of their estates.
We can work alongside someone you name as your Trust Administrator and help them with all the legal aspects involved in your estate. We can also carry the entire responsibility of trust administration for you if you prefer. Either way, we’ve got what it takes to competently handle all of the legal, financial, and relational matters of your estate.
If you’re interested in sitting down to discuss your estate plan with us, we invite you to meet with us. You’ll be glad to know that our first consultation is absolutely free.