A question is raised by a well-to-do husband who is concerned that his wife is not prepared to handle a significant estate if he should predecease her. The couple has no children, and he is concerned about what will happen. In MarketWatch's "My wife and I don't trust anyone to be executor of our will," several different ways to prepare for this situation are examined.
One important note to consider: while mulling over the executor issue, do not table your estate planning. With both spouses still living, the planning should start right away.
Collect the information about important accounts and assets and keep it in a safe place at home or at your bank. Make sure you and your spouse know where these materials are located.
The best route is to have your spouse act as executor of your will with the help of a lawyer upon your death. As an alternative, an estate planning attorney can act as an executor. However, he or she will need to be paid.
The executor is required to act in your best interests. He or she must inventory the assets and coordinate cash for expenses, sales, and dealing with taxes.
There are other, unforeseen issues you should take into account with your estate planning attorney—such as the unlikely event that both spouses pass simultaneously or a surviving spouse does not have mental capacity to handle his or her affairs. In such instance, you need an alternate executor, trustee, and/or power of attorney.
By virtue of having an estate plan in place that includes designating your favorite charitable organizations, you have already solved the biggest problem. Remember that most Americans still do not have a will, which puts you way ahead of your peers.
Reference: MarketWatch (May 31, 2016) "My wife and I don't trust anyone to be executor of our will"