Houser Firm

Is it smart to make your two children co-executors?

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2022 | Estate Planning

Maybe you have two adult children who get along famously. They are both level-headed and financially savvy, as well as extremely trustworthy. For those reasons, you are thinking of naming them as co-executors of your will

Would this be a sound decision or one that you might regret later on? It’s definitely something to ponder very carefully.

Why do it this way?

This setup can prevent one of your children from feeling envious or disappointed if you delegate the job solely to the other child.

Being an executor for a high-net-worth individual can entail time-consuming work. The person’s assets have to go to the heirs they designated, taxes owed by the deceased must be taken care of and there can be court appearances,  just to mention some customary duties. Having two knowledgeable individuals pitch in together can be a sensible approach. 

Working together may also help your children cope with their grief. Bereavement is one of the most painful and intense emotions that anyone can possibly face. There are no simple remedies for it. Having a parent pass away is especially hard. Even if the person was ill or incapacitated for a long while and their passing was not unexpected, losing them has a finality that can hit anyone with a tremendous impact. 

It’s always tough on the children, no matter what their ages may be. That is why naming two of them as co-executors of your will might help them productively work through their sadness. Knowing that they are carrying out your last wishes in a way that would have made you proud could be a balm for their mourning.

Are there any disadvantages?

Co-executors have to sign off on everything together, so that can slow the probate process down. In addition, if they do get into a dispute, that can be problematic and lead to additional complications for your estate.

You want everything handled as you instructed in your will and in compliance with the law. You also want your heirs treated with respect and fairness. If you believe that two of your children can jointly deal with this role, then it should go to them. If you need advice on this matter or any other aspect of your will, seek out a professional who knows the ropes.