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Assigning co-executors could lead to estate litigation

| Feb 5, 2019 | Estate Litigation |

New Jersey residents who have more than one child may think that naming all of their children as co-executors of their estate is a good choice. Such a decision may make one’s children feel that they are all important and valued, but it can also cause a number of issues. These issues, unfortunately, may end up requiring estate litigation to resolve.

The job of an executor is to ensure that an estate is closed out and all assets are appropriately distributed to beneficiaries. It can be a difficult role, and it is not a job that everyone is suited for. When picking an executor, it is necessary to really consider how well the people on one’s short list will be able to handle the stress of this calling.

One might think that having co-executors may help speed up the estate administration process, as there will be more than one person working to close out the estate. The truth is, having more than one executor is actually known to result in disagreements about how things should be done. This can actually cause the administration process to be prolonged, and a judge may have to step in when disputes cannot be settled — which will only cost beneficiaries a pretty penny in the long run.

Leaving one child in charge of an estate is not necessarily sending a message to the others that they are not loved or capable. It is just a way for a parent to keep the children from fighting about how an estate should be administered. Some children may even be relieved that they do not have to bear the responsibility of closing out their parent’s estate. New Jersey residents who want more information about naming executors and setting up estate plans, so as to help prevent estate litigation, can speak to an experienced attorney about their concerns.