More often than not, it makes the most sense to name only one person to handle the administration of your estate. This is usually a trusted family member or an outside professional such as a lawyer, but you might choose to have more than one individual appointed to handle your affairs after you’re gone.
The term co-executors refers to two or more individuals who you have named as executors in your will. They do not share partial authority over your individual estate. Rather each person has complete authority over your estate, meaning that:
- Certain co-executors could be called on to perform specific duties together, such as signing checks on behalf of the estate or submitting the will to probate.
- Co-executors must act in coordination with one another in all matters related to settling the estate.
- Co-executors must work together for information sharing and decision making purposes with regard to settling the estate.
This can present many problems in most circumstances because of the difficulty of getting two people who might not live near one another or have similar schedules to collaborate in this way. However, there are some reasons to name co-executors in your will. If you have a wide variety of different kinds of assets that will require the expertise of multiple people, naming co-executors makes sense.
Different people could take on the responsibilities of various categories of assets which is especially helpful if you have digital assets and your primary executor is not tech savvy.
Make sure that both of these individuals are well aware of their role and the specific parts of your estate that they will manage. If you have questions about using co-executors and whether or not it’s the right fit for you, set up a time to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer. At our Pasadena estate planning law firm, we can support you through each phase of the estate planning process.