Who Would You Trust to Be the Executor of Your Will?
An executor is an individual that you appoint to carry out your wishes detailed in your Will after you pass away. As this is quite a large responsibility, it is an important choice for you to pick the right one!
What Does an Executor Do?
An executor is named in the Will of the deceased and given the legal authority to administer their estate. Their responsibilities usually include distributing the assets according to the wishes in the Will and protecting the estate in the interest of the beneficiaries. Even if the instructions in the Will are quite simple, it can become quite complicated and take a few months to process.
They may also have to apply for probate if necessary and decided when and how to sell the property. As well as dividing the proceeds to the people who are inheriting it, they need to make sure the right amount of Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains and Income Tax is paid. You need to make sure that you can rely on your executor to be able to undertake these tasks on your behalf.
Who Can Be an Executor of a Will?
As long as they are aged 18 years old and over, there are no rules about who can be your executor. Commonly, people choose their spouse, children or other relatives to be their executor as it doesn’t matter if they are named as a beneficiary in your Will.
You can name more than one person but no more than four can act at a time; they have to be able to work together equally, so it is not advised to have this many. It has been recommended to have at least two executors so you can have peace of mind, if one person is incapable of acting when the time comes, you can rely on the other.
You could appoint one family member and one professional, a solicitor or accountant. Even though the professional will charge a fee, it may be useful to have an executor with specialist knowledge.
What Makes a Good Executor?
One of the main things you need to consider when choosing your executor is how much trust you have in them. You need to appoint someone trustworthy to ensure your wishes are dealt with properly and, if any problems arise, that they will find fair solutions on your behalf.
Always make sure that if you choose a family member, you ask them first before you declare it in your will. Also, if you want to pick your spouse as an executor, it is a good idea to have an additional one, so they don’t have to deal with your instructions and paperwork on top of the grief.
Choosing two executors is a good idea in regard to dividing the work up equally. Family members would be able to deal with the more sensitive issues and other relatives, and professionals would be able to handle the tax, financial, property and legal work. Make sure you shop around for professionals, whether it be a solicitor, bank or accountant, so you know how much they cost.
Don’t Have Anyone to Choose?
If you don’t have anyone to appoint as an executor, there is a government official called the Public Trustee.
How Do I Appoint Them?
All you have to do is declare that you would like them to be your executor and write their full name and current address in your Will; if you are appointing more than one executor, then you write this for all of them and state that you would like them to act together. Even though your executor can also be a beneficiary, they cannot be a witness to your signing your Will.
At Executor Solutions, we are a one-stop shop when it comes to Property Probate so we can relieve stress from your executor duties. We work with both individual and professional executors, so contact us today for more information and how we can help you.