Q: Can I name all of my children as executor in my will? I want all of them involved so that no gets left out?

A:  Can you? Yes. Should you? Maybe or maybe not.

The simple answer is yes; if you want to name multiple children as co-personal representative's you can do so. Assuming that all of the children meet the required qualifications, it's likely that court will name them all.

The problem with naming multiple personal representative's is that it tends to slow things down and I mean a lot.

Multiple personal representatives all need to be involved in the administration. That means that all of them need to sign petitions filed in court. All of them need to sign real estate contracts and documents necessary to liquidate accounts and assets.  

Now this isn't an insurmountable problem but obtaining all of those signatures will require time. The problem is even worse if any of the children live any significant distance away from where the estate is being probated. That means relying on the mail, unless they want to fly in every time something needs to be signed.

Also, multiple personal representatives can result in additional attorney fees. Pleadings will need to be changed to include multiple signatures and multiple consents and waivers will need to be prepared. I'm not suggesting that this will be a problem for the attorney, but additional or unusual paperwork usually means higher fees. 

I understand why people want to include all of their children in the will, but that doesn't mean that it is a good idea. Simpler is often times better.

Now if you want to name two or maybe even three children personal representative, that's probably okay. More than that number and things get messy and messy is not good. I know that some of the kids may wonder why mom didn't name all of them, but once that check arrives, I think they'll be okay with it.

Christopher W. Yugo is an attorney in Crown Point. Chris’ Estate Planning Article appears online every Sunday at www.nwi.com. Address questions to Chris in care of The Times, 601 W. 45th Ave., Munster, IN 46321 or to Chrisyugolaw@gmail.com. Chris’ information is meant to be general in nature. Specific legal, tax, or insurance questions should be referred to your attorney, accountant, or estate-planning specialist.

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