Executors can come as singles, doubles or trebles, or sometimes even more, but seldom exceeding four. Are multiple executors a good thing? As usual the answer is – it all depends. Let’s say your husband has died and you are the sole beneficiary. You will probably think it is a good thing that you are a sole executor. Why should anyone else get involved? I have seen cases where a testator has appointed his wife and his mother! The cooperation during the administration of the estate is not always superb.
The variations in human patterns of life are endless so there is no simple answer to the question that any person making a will must ask. Who is going to be the best person or persons to deal with sorting out my affairs? If an estate is substantial or if there are children with no surviving parent, then a single executor is not the best option.
Some executors will choose a combination of family and friends, while others will go for the professional option, perhaps adding an accountant or solicitor.
What happens when there are two or more executors but not all of them want to get involved. Being named as an executor in the will does not mean you have to take on the task. You can leave it to the others. You have a choice of retaining the power to become an executor at a later stage or renouncing the executorship altogether. Whether you are on your own or one of several executors always remember: if you are thinking of instructing solicitors or other probate providers to act, it is essential to look at their expertise and experience and their charging structure. Please do not sign up to the first person to contact you. He or she may be coming through a “bereavement centre” which is a sales channel for a bank, financial institution or chain of funeral directors.
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