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Acting As An Executor: What Happens When There Are Multiple Executors And They Do Not Cooperate?

Acting as an Executor is a very important role.  So what is an Executor –

An Executor is a person who you appoint in your Will to take on certain responsibilities when you die. The responsibilities of acting as an Executor include things like making decisions about your funeral a Executor nd burial, dealing with Probate (if needed), and administration and distribution of the deceased person’s estate. You can choose more than one person to be your Executor. This can cause problems when multiple Executors do not agree on certain decisions.

So, What Happens When People Acting As An Executor Do Not Cooperate?

Having multiple Executors is not uncommon. For example, a Will-maker will often appoint his or her spouse first, then appoint one or more of his or her children as alternate Executors. It may also be the case that the Will-maker might feel some pressure to appoint multiple people as Executors, with the view that the Will-maker does not want to leave somebody out and cause family conflict. In doing so, the Will-maker might not take into account that the people to be appointed –

  • have very different views in the decisions they make; and/or
  • might not always get along with each other.

When this happens, this can cause all sorts of problems for an Estate, one of the main problems being the delays that are occasioned in the administration and distribution of the deceased’s assets. This will impact on the beneficiaries of the Estate (i.e. the people that are gifted the deceased’s assets under the Will). It can also be a costly process. For instance, Court proceedings might need to be commenced to revoke a Grant of Probate, remove an Executor and appoint someone else, such as an independent person, to fulfill the role. In the end, the original wish of the Will-maker to avoid family conflict may become completely unstuck.

If you would like advice about whether you should include more than one Executor in your Will, or you want to discuss amending your Will to reflect your present intentions and wishes, please do not hesitate to contact our Estate Planning Solicitors at Brazel Moore Lawyers on (02) 4324 7699.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-priced Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are. At Brazel Moore, we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

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