You can name up to four people in your Will to act as your Executors. The probate office will only issue the grant of probate to up to four people so if any more are named, it’s a likely scenario that any additional would renounce their position.
You do always need to name at least one Executor in your Will to administer your estate and obtain the grant of probate.
Just because you can name up to four executors in your Will does not mean you have to. In fact, it can sometimes complicate matters the more people you name to act in this role. This is because Executors working together all need to agree with any decisions and sign any paperwork off all together. If those you have named live far apart from each other or do not really know each other very well, it can be hard for them to communicate regularly, and this can mean the administration of your estate takes longer than necessary.
When having a Will written, it is likely that the advice given to you, is to name at least two executors either working together or in a particular order. By doing this you are covering the event that should one of the named Executor pass away, there is automatically another named to replace them, and you do not need to go through the process of updating your Will.
When naming your Executors, you should really be thinking about how they would manage in such a complex role. There is a lot of paperwork to deal with, institutions to deal with and it is a time-consuming duty. They will also be dealing with your finances, so they need to be trustworthy and reliable.
It is worth mentioning that your Executors are not legally bound to act as Executor-they will have the option to renounce their position if they do not feel they can administer the estate. Typically, this is because of the time and complexity involved. In a lot of cases, named Executors pass the responsibility to a Probate specialist to handle the estate.