Find a lawyer to help you answer your legal questions.

  • My Legal Briefcase

    Can I appoint both my children as executors?
    Posted: 2012-12-11 05:00:36

    When it comes to appointing executors it would be preferable to appoint one. Each family situation should be assessed on their merits; however, appointing two persons creates the possibility of a deadlock in decision-making.

    The function of the executor is to carry out the terms of the will. This is not always a simple task. The executors have a right to obtain compensation, which amounts to about 4% of the estate. You can overcome this by stipulating in your will that the other child will get a beneficial interest equal to the amount of compensation.

    The child who gets to be the executor also will have the power to sell the property. If the property is occupied by the other child this can pose problems, especially if the relationship between the siblings is not a good one. Where the relationship between siblings is questionable, you may consider a third neutral person to be the executor.

    You should choose a child who is responsible and has a business sense. The executor must decide when to sell the property. If you have a complex portfolio, you may even consider an institutional executor. There are trust companies which provide this service. If you choose them, you have to pay them the full tariff for compensation. In most cases, a family member acting as an executor will suffice.

    If you live inOntario, it is important to have an executor who is also a resident inOntario. If your executor is not a resident where you last resided, the court may require a bond be issued to ensure that the executor properly carries out his duties in distribution.

    You can appoint a friend or a relative to be your executor until your children have reasonable maturity. You need to remember to change the executor when your children have reached maturity and can take over the function of the executor. It is very prudent to review the will every year.

    Mr. Jay Chauhan has more than 30 years of experience practicing Commercial law, Family law, Immigration law, Wills and Estates, and Litigation. Mr. Jay Chauhan earned degrees, including a Bachelor of Science from the London School of Economics in England; a Barrister-at-Law at Lincoln's Inn in England; a Master of Economics at the Berlin University in Germany; and a Bachelor of Laws at Osgoode Hall in Ontario, Canada. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1972, England in 1965, and admitted as an Advocate in the State of Gujarat, India in 1982. You can learn more about Mr. Chauhan by visiting his website at
    or his bio.

    Disclaimer: Content on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal advice.