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Duties of estate planning and administration can be split

When choosing an executor to help administer an estate, an Illinois estate owner does not have to designate a sole individual. In fact, certain duties can be split between several people, if needed. The estate planning and administration process is able to be customized to suit a particular person's needs and ultimate goals.

Let's say an estate owner wishes to appoint an adult child as a power of attorney; however, the particular child in mind is not good with finances. In such circumstances, it may be a relief to know another person can be chosen to act on behalf of the estate owner in matters financially-related. The other adult child can be named as an advance care directive power of attorney or serve in some other capacity.

Sometimes, a person outside the family is hired to act on behalf of an estate with regard to finances. This person might be an accountant or a trusted friend and confidant. There are no rules saying a financial power of attorney must be given to someone biologically related to an estate owner. To the contrary, it can be anyone the estate owner chooses.

Sadly, the estate planning and administration process sometimes leads to disputes among siblings. To prevent discord, it often helps to speak to all adult children in a family at once and provide a concise explanation regarding who has been chosen to serve each role, and why. If legal issues arise down the line, a consultation with an experienced Illinois probate and administration attorney can be sought for guidance.

Source:, "Estate planning from the heart", Mary Owens, Dec. 8, 2017

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