I need to put a Will in place but who do I choose as my Executors?
So, you have made the important decision to get a Will put in place and now you need to decide who is going to be your Executors.
An Executor is appointed in your Will and is responsible for collecting in and protecting your estate, including any property and assets that you own, and carry out the distribution of such items in accordance with your wishes.
Some of the key considerations when thinking about who to ask to be you Executor are:-
- Who do you trust to act in a way that you direct?
Your Executor doesn’t have to have all the answers or know everything in relation to the legal aspects, financial or tax implications but they must be responsible enough to ask for help from the right people if and when that is required (this may be a solicitor, accountant, tax adviser or other specialist depending on the size and complexity of the estate and what assets you have).
Alternatively, you can appoint a professional or firm of professionals as your Executor, rather than a family member or friend, but these will usually charge a fee for their services.
- Should more than one Executor be appointed?
A maximum number of four Executors can be appointed by the Probate Registry when a Grant of Probate is obtained upon death. This means that you can appoint up to four Executors to be responsible for the administration and dealing of your estate. Having more than one Executor relieves the burden, from just one person, of having sole responsibility and decision making powers, however, it may be necessary to consider that these Executors will have to make decisions together and so having four Executors may not be practical or possible.
- Age of the Executor
This may seem like an obvious consideration but your appointed Executor will need to be alive, and capable of acting, at the time of your death to deal with your estate and so the age of your Executor, in comparison to your age, should be considered.
Some of the tasks that an Executor must perform (gathering in assets, making decisions in relation to property etc.) will require the Executor to be at least 18 years of age when carrying out their role.
- Can I appoint a beneficiary as my Executor?
In short, YES! Often the best Executors are beneficiaries as they have an interest in collecting in all your assets efficiently as well as ensuring that everything is handled correctly and distributed in accordance with your wishes.
It goes without saying that your Executor should be trusted by you implicitly and if someone is a beneficiary under your Will then they are likely to possess the qualities you would like your Executor to possess.
- Replacement Executors
Putting provisions in place for replacement Executors is a good idea to provide for circumstances where your first choice Executor is unable or unwilling to act at the time of your death. This will mean that your estate can still be dealt with by someone that you trust should your first choice not be a viable option.
When putting your Will in place, have a chat with your proposed Executors and let them know that you trust them implicitly and that is why you would love them to be an Executor. Having the conversation may well be difficult but it will save, what can be a shocking, surprise should anything happen to you and they are required to act.
An Executor has the right to refuse to act, if they are unwilling do so and so discussions at the time that a Will is put in place are important to overcome this. An Executor may be unable to act, through incapacity or if their death occurs before yours, however having conversations with your proposed Executors, when putting your Will in place, should prevent any surprises and limit the risk of them renouncing their obligations when the time comes.
We are always happy to have a chat with you about who you may want to appoint as your Executors and even help with the discussion with Executors and answer any questions that they may have.
If you would like to have a free chat about your Will, please contact us on
info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121
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