One of the biggest decisions ahead of you when creating your will is who you choose to serve as your executor. While most people choose their spouse or one of their grown children, it is possible to name more than one person to administer your estate.
How to Split Estate Administration Duties Among Co-Executors
The most important thing when appointing multiple executors is to choose people who can work together, or at least get along with one another. Appointing two executors who have conflicting interests—or who can’t stand each other—is a sure way to complicate the probate process and increase the chances of litigation over the estate.
That said, sometimes it makes sense to name two executors. Two people sharing the burden of probate can lighten the load, especially if each has different strengths and weaknesses. You may wish to divide executor duties for the benefit of:
- Grieving spouses. The death of a spouse can turn a person’s life upside down. Adding the stress of estate administration on top of the loss of a partner could be too overwhelming for some spouses. A co-executor can take the time needed to make decisions during administration with an objective eye, while the spouse can act as an overseer of the process.
- Business concerns. If you own a business or investment properties that your first executor doesn’t actively manage, you may name a business partner as co-executor to handle decisions regarding the business.
- Complex probates. You may be concerned about overloading a family member with the duties of an executor, particularly the legal aspects of transferring assets, handling investment accounts, and filing tax returns. In these cases, you may name a professional management firm (such as a bank) as one executor to handle the paperwork, and a family member as the other to sign off on the transactions.
The experienced New York estate administration attorneys at Landskind & Ricaforte Law Group can help you through the probate process, and help resolve disputes among coexecutors. Contact us today through our online form to learn how we can help.