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What are reasons to appoint backup executors?

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2020 | Estate Planning

Choosing a person to be the executor of your estate may feel like the crowning touch of your estate plans. Composing a solid will and appointing a good executor can do a lot to shorten the probate process. However, selecting just one individual to be your executor could turn out to be a mistake. 

You want to pick your own executor to ensure that someone you know and trust will carry out your wishes. You also do not want a probate court to take a lot of time appointing an executor for your estate. Kiplinger describes some of the problems you may have by choosing just one executor. 

Your executor may become unavailable

If you choose a peer to be your executor candidate, there is the chance that you might outlive your executor if you live to an old age. Selecting someone from a younger generation may avoid this problem. Still, other life events may prevent your executor from serving, such as illness or death from an automobile accident. 

Also consider that your executor candidate someday may move to another town or state and might not be available to close out your estate. Sometimes people decide that they do not want to serve as an executor and turn down the appointment. 

Picking multiple executors may help

In the event your executor candidate is unwilling or not able to take up the position, the court will have to pick a replacement. Unfortunately, this can leave your heirs in limbo as they wait on the court to act. There is no guarantee that a judge will pick someone that has the best interests of your family at heart. This could stretch out the probate process and lead to legal conflict. 

To prevent this possibility, consider appointing backup choices as executors. In the event your primary choice cannot serve, a successor will become your executor. You may also select multiple people to serve at once, although this runs the risk of conflict if your co-executors cannot work together.