Five Things You Need to Know If You Are a Co-Executor of an Estate

You are honored, you are grieving, and you are potentially overwhelmed by the task in front of you. You have been named as the co-executor of a friend’s estate. It is your job to make sure that the estate is administered properly, but it is not your job alone. Instead, you share the responsibility with the person who has been named as your co-executor.

Will This Make the Estate Administration Easier or Harder?

It is difficult to say whether it is easier or harder to have a co-executor administer an estate plan with you, but we can tell you that it will make things different. If the will names co-executors then it is important to know that:

  • Both executors must sign the initial petition with the probate court.
  • Typically, both executors will have to sign checks and other estate paperwork.
  • Both executors may be responsible for filing tax returns.
  • You have a duty to monitor the actions of the other executor and to report any unethical or illegal behavior. Of course, the other executor has the same responsibility to watch you and report any unethical or illegal behavior.
  • If one executor is not doing his job then the other executor must report it to the probate court.

It is also important to know that having a co-executor does not relieve you of any responsibility. It is still your legal duty to carry out the administration of the estate properly and in accordance with California law.

Do You Have Questions About Your Responsibilities or the Implementation of the Estate Plan?

If you do have questions it is important to get those questions answered before you take action that could potentially make things more difficult for you or get you into legal trouble. Please watch our free videos and sign up for our free newsletter to learn more.

 

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm