Limit on the Number of Executors of Deceased Estates

By Mary Jane Freeman

A person drafting his will is free to name as many executors as he wants to wind up his affairs after he dies. However, having multiple executors can often frustrate the probate process, since all executors must agree before any transaction can be completed.

A person drafting his will is free to name as many executors as he wants to wind up his affairs after he dies. However, having multiple executors can often frustrate the probate process, since all executors must agree before any transaction can be completed.

Role of Executor

An executor, also known as a personal representative, is the person designated in a will to carry out the wishes of the deceased after his death, as outlined by the terms of the will. These duties include locating the will and delivering it to the probate court, gathering and inventorying the decedent's assets, paying the decedent's funeral costs, taxes and remaining debts, and distributing any remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will.

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Multiple Executors

The person drafting a will, known as the testator, is usually free to nominate as many executors as he wishes. Parents with multiple children often do this. However, nominating multiple executors is not always recommended. This is because co-executors are required to make all decisions and complete every transaction together, which may prove to be overly burdensome, especially if co-executors live in different states. For example, every co-executor will have to sign each check drawn on the estate's bank account, sign every document required to sell decedent's real estate and other property, and sign-off on all reports delivered to the court. Until every co-executor's consent or signature is given, important matters cannot be resolved. In the alternative, testators can nominate alternate executors, persons who act as executor only when the original executor is unable to serve.

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References

Related articles

How to Name an Executor or Personal Representative

An executor, also called a personal representative, is the person in charge of distributing property to heirs and settling a decedent's estate. A female appointed to handle an estate is sometimes called an executrix. Naming an executor in a will avoids the need for a court-appointed executor after death and usually saves the estate money. This is because court-appointed executors generally charge high fees in contrast to relatives or friends who are chosen to serve.

Who Enforces the Execution of a Will?

In drafting your will, you may appoint a person to serve as your executor, also known as a personal representative. This person will have the responsibility of carrying out your wishes pursuant to the will. Because the executor has a number of responsibilities and can be held personally responsible if they are not properly carried out, carefully consider appointing someone who is trustworthy and capable of carrying out the somewhat complicated probate process.

Tennessee Laws for a Deceased Parent's Executor

In Tennessee, the executor of a deceased parent's estate is obligated to manage and settle the estate's affairs. Tennessee requires an executor to probate a parent's estate -- whether the parent died with a will or not -- if the parent owned any property in his or her name. Large, complex estates are typically probated, and probate courts assist the executor during the process. Title 30 of Tennessee's state code addresses the duties of an executor when an estate is probated.

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