Multiple Executors

It is possible to have multiple executors named within your English & Welsh Last Will and Testament.  After considering the basic points for selecting an executor you can use the information gathered from this to tailor the most appropriate mix of executors to distribute and sort out the possessions of your estate.  As an executor there can be loads of functions to do and sharing them among multiple executors can make sense to lighten their load.  Also some people are better at some tasks than others so you can mix and match your would-be executors to cover all the specific tasks that need doing with those that can handle them.

Dependent on your Last Will and Testament your proposed executors can either work independently or jointly when dealing with the various tasks to sort out the estate.  Whether they are required to work independently or jointly choosing a person who does not coordinate and work well with others or selecting people who will clash with each other would not be a good move.  The result could easily become a disaster.  If those appointed work well together and have individual power to take action it will speed the probate processes up considerably.  Having the executors operate jointly has the disadvantage of slowing the probate process down and on the flip side it has the advantage of limiting possible errors in the actions taken.                                                                                                           

The bonus to having multiple executors is that there is always at least a second person to cast a view over, double check and bounce ideas off whilst dealing with the various tasks. This in itself will add to ensuring the administration is carried out accurately and properly.

The process of probate is not simply a matter of handing out gifts and paying bills; there are as a lawful requirement English or Welsh legal forms to fill out; England & Wales tax forms to complete and with something such as an English or Welsh house or business there are legal and financial matters to deal with.  As a result the executor would be at an advantage to have a good working knowledge in dealing with these things and fearless in the face of paper work.  Sometimes the aid of an expert within England or Wales such as a solicitor or accountant might be required in which case the executors are empowered to engage and seek professional help when necessary.  Often when compiling the executors, a testator or testatrix will appoint in their Last Will and Testament both a spouse (or a close relative) and a professional English or Welsh company (such as a solicitor or accountants) when complex matters are known to be in need of dealing with. This technically ticks all the boxes by providing the expertise, experience and the human touch.  The professional deals with the more in-depth technical matters whilst the person deals with more hands on matters.

Allocating loads of executors obviously seems like a good move; ‘ the more the merrier ‘ or something like that.  However; this is not always the case.  Too many people with too many opinions can create endless hindrances and confrontation.  Not to mention the confusion of several people all running around simultaneously doing things with a lack of coordination or communication; chaos reigns and mistakes and oversights can easily happen.  Probate is a process which is best done in an organized fashion.  So there is a case for being wary not to over do it when getting your executors.

Unfortunately it can be quite common for an executor to decline to carry out the duty when the time arises.  Often their circumstances may have changed; perhaps they are no longer physically, emotionally or mentally up to the task, they are just too busy or are overcome with the sheer volume and difficulty of the responsibility ahead of them.  To overcome this you can also have substitute executors on standby.

So when one of the executors disclaims the responsibility then one of your reserve substitute executors can step into the breach.  This bank of extra potential executors helps to ensure there will be adequate executors to accomplish the probate tasks required.  It also means you do not have to over arrange your initial list of executors to safe guard against not having enough executors to complete the governing of your estate when the time comes.                                       

To get the balance of your chosen executors’ right you should go through the list of anticipated tasks that are necessary to arrange your property, possessions, paperwork and take care of the formalities of probate.  Then initial against these the person you best believe should take care of it.  If you involve your potential executors in this process it could make it quicker and easier to complete.

Remember it works best for your executors to keep in communication with each other; so keeping to those who live within a reasonable distance of your home and each other would be sensible.  Also engaging executors who are resident far away or even abroad might create hold ups in the procedures for administrating your English and Welsh property and estate.

Should you intend on writing an easy Last Will and Testament it can be cleverest engaging simply the one executor, likely your spouse, civil partner or common law partner.  Your passing is likely to be a real shock to your other half and subsequently you can expect them to be distraught.  Thus it could prove wise to allocate an extra executor to help them because distressed people often can not think straight and will be in need of the added assistance.

SEE ALSO:

The Rules For Executor Selection.
Choosing The Right Person To Be Executor.Appointing An Executor.
Rules Surrounding Guardianship
Selecting Your Guardian
Selecting Trustees
Automatic Guardianship
Appointing A Guardian
Changing Guardianship

 

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