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Naming all children as executors in estate planning in Ontario

Children usually have the best interests of their parents at heart. But when it comes to estate planning in Ontario, having all children as executors of their parent's will may not be the best decision. Having more than two or three executors of a will could be a recipe for disaster since all the estate trustees would have to be involved in all the decisions regarding the estate.

Of course, parents don't want to be seen as playing favourites when choosing an executor. But, naming more than one child so as not to hurt the feelings of others might become problematic. Parents need to think carefully and wisely before making a final decision.

All executors must work as a cohesive group and are all team players for the sake of the estate. No one has the legal right to act alone in this case. For instance all executors are jointly responsible for applying to have the will probated, signing all the proper documents, paying the estate's bills and debts from the estate assets and administering assets until all are distributed.

Since all co-executors have to agree on everything and act together, naming more than one or two executors can cause delays and inconvenience. It is especially difficult is a co-executor lives out of the area. Getting together to meet with lawyers and financial institutions to sign documents may be a hardship.

So, when thinking about naming all children as co-executors in a will, parents should think carefully before making that final decision. When needing to make this serious choice, Ontario residents may wish to consult a lawyer experienced in wills and estate planning. It is best to get advice and help before putting wishes to pen and paper.

Source: boomerandecho.com, "The Pitfalls Of Naming Your Children Co-Executors", Marie Engen, Accessed on July 18, 2017

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