Resources for executors and Estate Administrators

Liz Weston: Why you don’t want to be an executor

Liz Weston: Why you don’t want to be an executor

February 22, 2021

Link: Why you don’t want to be an executor

Source: The Detroit News

Author: Liz Weston

Read Time: 2 min.


Well, it may be too late.  Or perhaps not.  Weighing the impact the road ahead will have, as you balance the duties of executor with the rest of your life’s demands, are worth considering.  Marcus Aurelius’ “To bear this worthily is good fortune” may not apply if the cost is time, stress, and relationships.  While the trust the decedent has placed in your hands is an honor, you still want to emerge whole on the other side.  It can be taxing – pardon the pun.

This is why Liz Weston of contemplates these considerations as the average executor may have no idea what they’re getting into.


First, how long is this going to take?  The article cites some statistics from which states, “the typical estate took about 16 months to settle and required 570 hours of effort. The largest estates, worth $5 million or more, took 42 months and 1,167 hours to complete.”  Yikes.

How’s your schedule looking for the next 16-42 months?


Not to mention, as the fiduciary of the estate, you’ll have obligations and a trust to fulfill.  Your legal exposure will differ from state to state, but certainly, a conversation with your own attorney about,  “what’s at risk here?”, is a question you should ask.

Finding stuff

Also, Liz Weston’s article mentions one of the most fun parts (Note: sarcasm alert!), and most underestimated elements of being an executor. To be sure, organizing and finding your way through the assets and personalty can be challenging.  Put another way, depending on the organizational skills of the decedent, this piece of the pie has a direct correlation to how much hair how is left on your head at the end of your executor’s “adventure”.

Mental Health

Between the lines, the article implies that this is no easy road.  While it’s not directly in Ms. Weston’s article, the stress, depending on the estate, can be a major factor.  For instance, as one probate attorney put it to Executorium,

“Many of my clients emerge from their estate administration responsibilities a little world-weary, with a big chunk of their @$$ missing.”


Not to mention the strain on family relationships.  To be sure, as an executor, you’re often required to make hard decisions.


In other words, is it worth it?


On Second Thought, “No, I don’t want to be an executor”