All You Need to Know About Co-Executors in a Will - Our Guide

Your last will is a crucial document that you need to sort out before you die. It helps to ensure that your wealth and assets are distributed in the way that you intend them to after you’re gone. It’s important to have a trustworthy executor manage everything related to your will. However, it can be quite overwhelming for one person to do.

This is especially true if you have several assets that need to be distributed. If that's the case, you may need to name a co-executor.  This helps relieve a part of the burden from the primary person. However, there are downsides to this. So you need to understand them before you name someone your co-executor. We’ll discuss more of this in this article.

How to Name a Co-Executor

Much like how you would name your executor in a will, you can name a co-executor as well. It’s possible to assign the financial and management power to both of your executors equally. You can also assign certain responsibilities to each in a certain order.

If the primary one is to resign or be in the state where they are unable to perform their duties, the responsibilities will then fall to the secondary executor.

A person with adult children often names their spouse or one of their children the primary executor. Then, another family member as the secondary one. The executors can discuss among themselves as to what to do with the assets. This makes the process less stressful for both.

Co-Executor Duties

Listed below are the primary duties of a co-executor:

  • Manage the debt situation of the deceased
  • Manage the assets of the estate of the deceased
  • Carry out the terms of the will
  • Ensure that the executor and other co-executors are following their duties and abide by the terms of the will
  • Communicate with other executors and the court to ensure a smooth execution process

If a co-executor passes away before the testator, the testator may appoint another person to be their new co-executor. One can change and switch their executor order as they please. Equally important, the decision to change should be announced to those executors who are being adjusted.

Advantages of Co-Executors

Co-executors can take some of the workload off of the testator and primary executor. Having a group of co-executors who are proficient at different things can ensure that the testator and other executors have complete knowledge of every part of the will. A co-executor can also help to make sure that the process runs smoothly. Further, it ensures the wealth distribution and management process is uneventful.

Disadvantages of Co-Executors

Having a lot of co-executors often means that the margin for conflict is higher. They may bicker over themselves, causing a delay in the probation period.

Some co-executors may not be as trustworthy. Also, they may try to find loopholes in the will to try to take some of the wealth for themselves.

Removal of a Co-Executor

There are several ways to remove a co-executor from the will. These methods are listed below:

// Removal by the testator

The testator can write a form to state that they wish to remove the co-executor from representing their will. After the filing is approved, the co-executor will be removed.

// Resignation

The co-executor also has the right to resign from the position at any time.

// Removal by the court

If the court believes that the co-executor doesn’t have the interests of the testator in mind, they may remove the co-executor from the position.


Although having a co-executor can be highly beneficial for the process, it doesn’t mean that it’s without flaw. The more people that you involve with your will, the higher the chances of conflict and bickering. Therefore, it’s important that you have a conclusive and inclusive will that leaves no room for interpretation.


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