Two very important tasks when creating a will are naming the executor of your estate as well as naming a guardian for minor children. What happens if either of these people is unable or unwilling to serve in that capacity?
Taking on executor duties for an estate or guardianship duties for children is a huge responsibility. It’s important to discuss these choices not only with family members, but with those appointed, prior to drafting a will. You may find that your choice for an executor or guardian is not comfortable with taking on that challenge.
It is also important to keep a will updated to make sure you still have viable candidates for these appointments. For instance, if you have appointed your parents as guardians for their grandchildren, they may not be up to the task in later years.
You should always have a backup plan included in your will, both in the case of appointing a guardian and appointing an executor for your estate. Having a successor guardian as well as a successor executor named within your will can keep this decision in your hands, rather than allowing this decision to be made in probate court. While a probate court will always make these decisions with the best interests of children and the estate in mind, as well as allow input from loved ones, naming a successor in both cases allows the decision to remain yours.
Estate planning, including creating a will, naming executors and naming guardians for children, allows you to maintain a semblance of control over what happens to your family should the unthinkable occur. Since one of the goals in estate planning is easing the burden of your passing on loved ones, naming successor guardians and executors is an important aspect of it.