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Should I appoint my two kids as co-executors of my will in Burlington County?

Posted on Mon Jun 15, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Appointing Adult Children Siblings as Burlington County Co-Executors

Most Recently Updated July 15, 2018.

“I am a resident of Burlington County, New Jersey and want to modify my will. My two children are older and I want to name them as co-executors. Is naming my children as co-executors a good idea?”

Appointing Adult Children Siblings as Burlington County Co-Executors

Appointing Adult Children Siblings as Burlington County Co-Executors

Naming your children as co-executors (or “personal representatives”) of your Will can be a fine idea, or a terrible idea, depending on your children. You need to be honest with yourself about how well your children’s personalities work (or do not work) together.

Do They Get Along?

Having your children act as co-executors means that they will have to cooperate in probating your estate. They will both have access to all relevant information, they will both need to sign deeds selling your house and they will both be responsible for filing taxes and paying creditors.

All this “togetherness” can be a good thing for siblings who work well together and who both wish to be involved in the estate. Having both children work together also means they split any fee. Neither will feel as if you favored one over the other. Distance is no longer a problem, either. I have had children serve as co-executors when both lived far outside of New Jersey.

What About Conflict?

BUT, if they do not work together well, or if one ends up doing all the work, this can end up causing resentment and conflict. Any conflict between your children could end up spilling into court, with both of them hiring lawyers and bringing the estate to a slow crawl.

Your goal should be to make sure handling your estate causes the least amount of conflict within your family as possible. Be honest with yourself about your children. If one would make a better executor than the other, but you feel that naming one child would cause resentment, then your best choice might be naming neither child. Having a sibling or even your attorney serve is a much better idea than risking the chance that your children might stop speaking to one another for years.

More Planning Questions?

Naming executors is only a piece of the Estate Planning process. By all means, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning Everything You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Appointing Adult Children Siblings as Burlington County Co-Executors

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining how to choose executors. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website so you can learn more. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced estate planning lawyers.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

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Burlington County, Estate Planning, Estate Planning Attorney, Estate Planning Lawyer, Executor, New Jersey

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