The task of administering your estate following your death is an important job. You want your heirs to receive their inheritance without any delays, but you worry that your executor might not be up to the task. Some families decide that picking co-executors to oversee an estate is the better option.
Choosing co-executors is not a guarantee that your estate will go through probate efficiently or free from litigation. There are both potential benefits and drawbacks to consider.
Benefits to having co-executors
Smart Asset explains that if you own a lot of assets or your estate is complex, you can take the burden off a single executor by choosing multiple executors who understand parts of your estate. For instance, you may own multiple real estate properties. You could select a person as co-executor who understands real estate holdings and leave the other duties to another executor.
In general, having multiple executors may relieve them of the pressure of handling your estate since they know they have help from each other. Also, if you want to name a child as an executor but a sibling may feel slighted, naming both of them as co-executors might avoid discord.
Drawbacks co-executors may present
However, if your co-executors are not on the same page, it can delay probate to a significant degree. Your co-executors need to agree on how to proceed or probate cannot move forward. Sometimes acrimony can lead to one executor trying to remove the other.
Still, even if your co-executors agree on everything, it is still likely that having multiple executors will slow things down in general. Both of your executors will need to fill out forms, meet deadlines, conduct court actions, all of which can make things inefficient.
The decision rests with you
Your personal circumstances will determine whether having co-executors is a wise decision. Sometimes other options exist. For instance, you might want co-executors in case one of them does not outlive you. However, you can get around this by naming a successor executor instead. Exploring your available choices may help you create a plan best suited for your estate.