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Cortes Law Firm, Estate Planning, Probate, Trust Administration
Should I have one or two executors?
This is an issue that I really, really try to persuade my clients to only pick one person to be the executor or personal representative. They mean the same thing depending on your jurisdiction, to only pick one person to be in charge, to be your executor. The reason why people usually want to executors is because they don’t want to hurt their children’s feelings. They feel like if they have, let’s say, just two kids, that if they pick one of them to be the executor, then the other one’s feelings are going to be really hurt. I tell my clients when they make decisions like this, when they’re having to pick people for these important roles, do not worry about their feelings.
Someone you trust
You have to pick somebody who you trust implicitly to carry out the duties, to be the executor, to have the fiduciary duty to harness your assets, to pay your debts, and then to distribute your assets according to the terms of your last will and testament or your trust, and to do everything correctly when you have two people in anything. You now have two opinions on how things should get done. So if one of them wants to sell the house and the other one doesn’t, we have a problem. If one of them wants to sell the personal property and the other one doesn’t. We have a problem. If one of them wants to wait to finish the probate and the other one doesn’t, we have a problem. You can see where I’m going with this. Any time there’s two people in that important position as executor, you’re going to have problems.
Only one executor
We always try to dissuade our clients from appointing two people to be co executors of their estate because it’s just going to create a lot of problems afterwards. If somebody comes into our office with a last will and testament that appoints two people to be the executors or the personal representatives, then we really have a heart to heart conversation with them and tell them that it really is probably better for everybody if just one of them serves as the executor of the estate, because it will just alleviate a lot of problems
In fact, a lot of times what we do when there’s two people, we will actually ask them to maybe appoint a third independent party to serve in that role and have the two people who are supposed to be who, the who, the mom or dad wanted to be the executor. We have them sign waivers that they are okay with a third party serving in that role, and that just alleviates a lot of problems. It alleviates the need for two signatures for everything. It alleviates the need for two people to show up at every hearing. It just simplifies things tremendously when you only have one executor.
Do not worry about feelings
So when you pick somebody to be your executor or your personal representative, don’t worry about hurting feelings. Worry about who is going to get the job done. And if it’s not your two kids or three kids, if it’s not any of them, then pick a third party. Your estate planning attorney can help you pick somebody who you trust implicitly and who’s going to do the job correctly. And not be swayed by feelings or have two competing opinions on how to proceed with the probate. Because when that happens, it’s going to lengthen the time of the probate which means it’s going to cost your estate a lot more money, only pick one executor for your estate.
I know I’ve thrown a lot at you today, so that’s why we prepared our free guide on estate planning. I’ll put a link to it in the description below and in the comment section below that so that you can download it and get started in the right direction and to help you out even more. Watch this video up here and this video up here. If you enjoy this video, then guys please smash that subscribe button and click on the like button and also click on that little bell so you’ll get notified every time we post a new video. Have a great day and an awesome week. And as always, thanks for watching.
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Cortes Law Firm
5801 Broadway Extension Hwy Suite 110
Oklahoma City, OK, 73118
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