It’s a simple question, but not a simple issue: which of your children should be in charge of your estate after you pass away? Do you appoint a single child, or select multiple children to serve as co-executors or co-trustees? Although I have counseled many clients in this situation in my years as an estate planning attorney, I cannot definitively answer this very personal question for you. Such decisions are ultimately up to parents themselves, and all I can do is inform you about the potential costs and benefits of your options.
In most cases, appointing one child to be in charge of your estate does make it easier to get things done. With one person in charge, there is no need to form a consensus on important decisions. Managing an estate also becomes much more efficient when only one person needs to sign important documents. Unfortunately, the children who do not get appointed may become resentful, and that might lead to conflict within a family.
On the other hand, appointing more than one child to manage your estate creates a chance for positive collaboration. If your children have differing but complimentary skills and experiences, they may be able to work together to address your estate’s needs from all the necessary angles. Such a partnership could make your estate’s administration go much more smoothly.
Only you can determine what is best for your family’s circumstances. You are in a better position to know that than the attorney is. Whatever your decision may be, it is advisable to let your children know ahead of time who you are appointing and why. Transparency and thoughtful communication can help ensure your peace of mind throughout the estate planning process.
To learn more about this vital estate planning issue, request a FREE copy of our report on selecting a trustee. Call our office at (513)721-1513, or visit our website today.