Executors Misbehaving

Mar 24, 2021

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In estate planning, executors (who uphold your Will) are critical appointments. If you are appointing multiple executors, you want to make sure they get along as they hold the power to get the things done that really need to be done!

Your Will

Your executor is responsible for carrying out the terms of your will and administering your estate in an efficient and timely manner, including paying all debts and distributing the rest of your estate to the people nominated in your Will. If you choose more than one executor, they must act together. They should get along and agree on the actions needed to implement the terms of the Will.  If they do not work together, this could lead to disagreements in administering your estate and the ultimate distribution of assets which could lead to delays, smaller inheritances and potential legal action against your estate.

Example

Jack and Jill have been appointed as executors for their mother’s Will as they are the oldest children. Jack and Jill do not see eye to eye and have different opinions of how their mother’s assets should be divided. Jack and Jill do not speak with each other and delay doing the tasks that they have agreed to do due to their differences of opinion. The other beneficiaries in the Will are affected because the time and cost of administering the estate impacts their inheritance. The other beneficiaries consider bringing legal action against the executors, such as removing them as executors, due to their actions (and inactions) at the expense of the estate.

Make sure your executors have a good relationship and the ability to carry out your wishes efficiently and effectively. If you are unsure, it may be time for an update to your current estate planning documents.

CLW lawyers can also assist you in making sure your wishes are implemented. We can be appointed as independent, trusted executors to assist your current executors in their duties or alternatively, we can solely manage your estate.

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