Your Executor/Executrix* is the person that carries out the provisions of your will and settles your estate. It’s not an easy job, and it requires a significant investment of time, emotions and resources. You may think that sharing this responsibility among your children will make things easier for them, but that is not the case.
An Executor has to make firm decisions, sign off on documents and provide input into often sensitive situations. Having to constantly chase another person to make those decisions or to get a required co-signature can slow down the process and make the job twice as difficult. It is also highly unlikely that the two Executors will agree on everything and this can be the cause of long-lasting resentment between them.
Perhaps you don’t want to offend one of your children or you do not trust that any of your children have the skill set needed to perform these duties. In this case, instead of naming Executors within your family, you can appoint a trusted friend or family member that is not within your immediate circle. You also have the option of naming a Legal Representative as your Executor.
If your Executors do not get along while you are alive, forcing them to work together will likely not improve their relationship. Instead of naming them as Co-Executors, you should consider naming one as the Executor and the other an alternate if the first is unable to comply when the time comes. The most important part of this process is to tell your children why you made your decision. This will avoid hard feelings and court applications after you are gone.
Our experienced Estate Lawyers can help guide you through the process of appointing an Executor, and we will answer any questions you may have. We only deal in Estate Law, making us experts in this field.
*”Executrix” is the female term for executor, however this term is seldom used in today’s modern language, and “executor” has evolved to reference a male or female in this role.