When making an estate plan and Last Will and Testament, many people have a difficult time deciding who should be the Personal Representative (formerly known as the executor) of their estate. Oftentimes, they will consider naming Co-Personal Representatives – two or more people who serve as personal representatives of the estate. Each Co-Personal Representative named in your Last Will and Testament will have authority over your estate, and therefore must collaborate and work together to ensure your estate is settled in accordance with your wishes. But, is this the right choice for you? Below are some pros and cons to naming Co-Personal Representatives in your Will.
Pros for Naming Co-Personal Representatives of an Estate
One of the reasons Co-Personal Representatives are named in an estate is if there are multiple types of assets that need to be handled. The best example of this would be if you owned digital assets along with tangible assets, yet the Personal Representative you want to name for your estate would not be correctly suited to handle digital assets. In this case, you may want to name a Co-Personal Representative specifically to look after your estate’s digital assets. The same could be said for real estate or automotive properties. Massachusetts Will and Trust lawyers often bring this scenario up with their clients and encourage them to carefully consider their options when naming Co-Personal Representatives to settle their estate.
Cons for Naming Co-Personal Representatives of an Estate
Most Massachusetts Will and Trust lawyers advise their clients to think very carefully about the dynamics that exist between the people they would name as Co-Personal Representatives. Many times, the stresses of being named Co-Personal Representative can lead to fighting, and, in some cases, litigation if the Co-Personal Representatives do not see eye-to-eye. In addition, if it’s possible that the Co-Personal Representatives may not work well together or will have difficulty carrying out their duties because they live in different areas, you may want to consider naming just one Personal Representative. Proper planning and communication with your Personal Representative/Co-Personal Representatives may solve some of these problems, but, once again, it is suggested that those considering naming Co-Personal Representatives weigh the potential benefits against the probable risks.
It should also be noted that in some cases, even if Co-Executors are named in a Will, one or more of the Co-Executors will resign from their position in an attempt to make the process a bit easier by reducing the number of people involved in authoritative roles. This is something that Massachusetts Will and Trust lawyers discuss with their clients during the estate planning process, so their clients are aware of the different possibilities that may happen once they’ve passed.
If you have any questions about naming Co-Personal Representatives in your Last Will and Testament, or if you want your estate plan reviewed to make sure it is in accordance with your wishes, please contact us at 508.532.8689 to set up a consultation.
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