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How Many Executors Should You Choose?

Sep 13, 2018 9:30:00 AM The MacMillan Estate Planning Team Estate Planning, choosing an executor, estate executor


You want to ensure that you leave behind the right legacy, and one of the most important people involved in facilitating this will be the executor of your estate. A particularly common question regarding executors is whether or not to designate more than one. Let’s examine the options.

What’s a Co-Executor?

As you may recall from one of our past articles, the executor you designate is responsible for carrying out and managing a wide range of financial and legal proceedings connected to your will and other aspects of your estate. Even in relatively straightforward cases, the executor has an often challenging job. However, it is not uncommon for people to name more than one person to handle these responsibilities, which is when the term “co-executors” is used. Not only are co-executors jointly responsible for the management and settlement of the estate, they are also responsible for holding one another accountable in their duties.

Pros and Cons

One of the primary advantages of naming multiple executors is that it may help with the management of multiple types of assets in your estate. For instance, if your primary executor is capable of ensuring that your debts and bequests are settled in a tax-efficient way but they do not have the knowledge to manage your digital assets, a co-executor for this purpose may be needed. However, some who work in estate planning believe that naming too many executors can slow down the settling of your estate by making disagreements more likely. This is because all co-executors should carry out their duties in unison.

How Many Do You Need?

Depending on where you live, there will be different limitations regarding who can act as your executors and how many you can name. For instance, in the UK, up to four executors can act at a time. Regardless, it’s wise to deliberate the number of executors based on the individual nature of your estate and the skills of those you’re considering. In some cases it may be necessary to appoint a combination of individuals who are relatives, family friends, and professional executors. Working with a professional estate planning team is the best way to determine whether or not this is right for your estate.

Remember that naming an executor for your estate is not a task to be taken lightly. For more information on making this crucial decision, take a look at our earlier article on the subject. We’d love to learn more about your needs, so feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation.

At MacMillan Estate Planning, our team of professional trust and estate practitioners, chartered accountants, financial planners, and legal professionals look forward to assisting you with the design of your estate plan and will ensure you build, protect, and enjoy your wealth. The information provided is general and may not be suited to your objectives or sufficient to ensure the protection of you and your family. You should not act on this information without providing MacMillan Estate Planning with the opportunity to ensure that it is suitable for your unique situation.

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