How to choose the executor of your Will
Who will take care of your estate when you’ve passed away? It can be an uncomfortable thought, but if you’ve considered writing a Will, you need to consider who will carry out your wishes. Whether you’ve no idea who to choose or you have someone in mind, it’s natural to have questions. We hope the below guide to choosing an executor is useful.
What is an executor?
There are a few things to know about an executor’s role and responsibilities:
· An executor carries out the instructions in your Will after you have passed away
· You can have more than one executor; in England, you can have up to four
· An executor(s) is legally and financially responsible for administering your estate. For example, valuing property and paying inheritance tax from your estate
Who can be your executor?
Typically, people nominate an executor(s) from one of two categories: family members or professionals specialising in estate administration.
To be an executor the individual must be aged over eighteen. Usually, people choose their spouse, partner or children to act as their executor.
What to think about when choosing family members as an executor: It’s best to choose individuals who work well together as disputes while administering the Will can cause delays. On average, estate administration takes twelve months and involves a lot of paperwork. It’s best to choose someone who can commit the time. Finally, choose someone who is likely to accept the task. Executors are not obligated to accept the responsibility and without an executor, estate administration could be delayed.
Professionals such as Will writers, solicitors, financial advisers and specialist administration companies can act as executors.
What to check when choosing a professional executor: Check whether the individual or business is qualified and regulated to offer the service. Ask about fees and make sure you understand how you’ll be charged .Check if there is anything you will need to do, or whether the professional will do everything for you. Finally, confirm whether the professional will take on full legal and financial responsibility for the estate administration, or if anything would fall to you.
When choosing your executor, don’t forget…
· Discuss the decision with them in advance to remove the element of surprise and ensure they are willing to accept the responsibility
· Nominate more than one executor; if they were to die before you, or if they decided to reject the responsibility on your death, the other(s) could still act
· Ensure the executor’s full contact details are noted in your Will, so they can be reached when the time comes.
Do you have any questions about choosing an executor?
We know it’s not easy to think about death and understand that the legal and financial obligations surrounding estate administration can be confusing. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you have about your Will and choosing an executor. Contact My Family Legacy on 0117 279 5507. We’d be happy to put your mind at ease.