We often get the question, “Should we name more than one child as a co-executor?” In the end, it’s a personal choice as to whether you do or not, but here are some things to think about.
1. Who will really do the work? Often if there are co-executors, we all know that one of them will end up doing all the work. (Kind of like group projects at school.) It may be because one child has more time, lives closer, likes dealing with paperwork, or any number of reasons. But if you know one child will end up doing the work anyway, then why not just name that child to begin with?
2. Do you need a watchdog? One reason to name co-executors is to make sure that one of them does not do something bad, like steal money. But ask yourself, is that really a true concern for your family? If so, maybe that child shouldn’t be named at all. Or maybe in your case, a co-executor really is a good idea.
3. Naming co-executors creates extra work. If you name co-executors, then often both of them will need to sign financial and legal paperwork. If one of them lives out of town or is hard to reach, will it be a burden to track them down every time a signature is needed?
4. Naming co-executors can result in deadlock. The good thing about co-exceutors is they help watch each other. The bad thing is if they truly don’t agree on what to do, then you have deadlock — and in some cases it may take a court to resolve the dispute.
5. Naming co-executors can result in procrastination. If you name co-executors, what if both of them say, “You do it,” and they end up procrastinating and neither of them do it? Sometimes it’s just better to have one person who knows it’s their job to get things done.
Whether you name co-executors or not is a personal preference and choice. There’s nothing really wrong with it, but unless there’s a good reason, I usually lean away from recommending it.
If you have questions or are ready to schedule an initial meeting and get started planning, give us a call at 217-726-9200.