How do executors make decisions?
Where more than one executor is appointed all executors have to agree unanimously on everything. Executors can’t make decisions based on simple majority and everything has to be decided jointly.
Unless the Will specifically identifies a dispute resolution process if a disagreement arises everything comes to a halt.
Avoiding disagreement between executors
You can never prevent a disagreement between the persons you appoint your executors. So choosing your executors carefully will help.
Sometimes a person may decide to name all of their children as executors. Usually that isn’t a problem.
However, where the children have already a history of fighting each other why make them executors? If they can’t agree now why would they change if they are all made executors?
Wouldn’t it just be lunacy to appoint executors of an estate persons you know don’t get along? To avoid disagreement between your executors it’s may be as simple as not appointing those who already aren’t getting along.
What usually happens if my executors do fight?
Despite anyone’s best efforts disagreement between executors may still arise.
If disagreement does arise, sometimes a compromise may be reached. At other times no one may want to compromise.
When there’s no compromise the estate administration may come to a halt.
Breaking the deadlock
In theory, you could seek court intervention to remove an executor to break a deadlock.
However, removal an executor is complicated and expensive. Commonly each disputing executor will say that it’s the other executor that should be removed.
Sometimes, one or more of the executors will agree to resign as executor out of frustration. If so, it may bring the deadlock to an end.
If no executor is prepared to resign an absolute deadlock is the outcome.
You should choose your executors wisely.
Don’t choose as executors people who don’t already get along. Don’t choose as executors people who are inflexible and quarrelsome.
Choose someone who will put your beneficiaries’ interest above all else.
16 March 2021