When making an estate plan and Last Will and Testament, many people have a difficult time deciding who should be the Executor of their estate. Oftentimes they will consider naming Co-Executors – two or more people who serve as executor of the estate. Each Co-Executor named in your Last Will and Testament will have authority over your estate, and therefore must collaborate and work together to ensure your estate is settled in accordance with your wishes. But is this the right choice for you? Below are some pros and cons to naming Co-Executors in your Will.
Pros for Naming Co-Executors of an Estate
One of the reasons Co-Executors are named in an estate is if there are multiple types of assets that need to be handled. One example would be if you owned a business or real estate investments that a typical layperson may not know how to deal with, you could name a co-executor to specifically handle this aspect of your final affairs. Orange County Will and Trust lawyers often bring this scenario up with their clients and encourage them to carefully consider their options when naming Co-Executors to settle their estate.
Cons for Naming Co-Executors of an Estate
Most Orange County Will and Trust lawyers advise their clients to think very carefully about the dynamics that exist between the people they would name as Co-Executors. Many times the stresses of being named Co-Executor can lead to fighting, and in some cases litigation, if the Co-Executors do not see eye-to-eye. In addition, if it’s possible that the Co-Executors may not work well together or will have difficulty carrying out their duties because they live in different areas, you may want to consider naming just one Executor. Proper planning and communication with your Executor / Co-Executors may solve some of these problems, but once again it is suggested that those considering naming Co-Executors weigh the potential benefits against the probable risks.
It should also be noted that in some cases, even if Co-Executors are named in a Will, one or more of the Co-Executors will resign from their position in an attempt to make the process a bit easier by reducing the amount of people involved in authoritative roles. This is something that Orange County Will and Trust lawyers discuss with their clients during the estate planning process, so their clients are aware of the different possibilities that may happen once they’ve passed.
If you have any questions about naming Co-Executors in your Last Will and Testament, or if you want your estate plan reviewed to make sure it is in accordance with your wishes, please contact us at (949) 260-1400 to set up a consultation.