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Pros and cons of naming multiple executors

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2019 | Executors & Fiduciaries, Trustees

When taking on a big and complicated task, it can be good to have help. This is often the thinking behind naming two or more executors to an estate. There are clear advantages to having two types of expertise and perspectives when taking on a big task like executing an Ontario estate. But, the risk of conflict can also make this a challenging situation in practice, depending on the arrangement. Here are some things to think about in these cases.

One of the positives of naming co-executors is allowing for checks and balances. Another is having a professional perspective for certain tasks. For example, someone might name a child, along with an accountant, as executor.

However, others might name multiple executors because they do not want any child to feel left out. As a result, they may name all children as executors. This shared responsibility and liability can get messy fairly quickly, as it can be difficult for everyone to see eye to eye or be able to coordinate the many tasks at hand. Fortunately, named executors who feel they may not be up for the task can renounce their position.

If there is conflict in a shared executorship, it is common for someone to want to step down from the role. While this can be a helpful solution at the offset, there are legal complexities that may arise should the break-off happen later on. It will be necessary for each of the executors to put their tasks up to the point of renunciation in writing. If the renunciation is rejected, a court may need to get involved. Ontario individuals and families who have questions or concerns about a co-executing situation can get answers about this process from a lawyer.

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