News & Events
Choosing an Executor to Administer Your Will
- Posted by: curtislegalwp
- Category: News
The person who sorts out your property when you die and carries out the instructions in your Will is called your executor. It is preferable that you appoint an executor in your Will as it makes it easier to finalise your Will after you die. There are no restrictions on who you choose to do the job, but it is sensible to choose the right person who will not dispute the contents of your Will, but will carry out any instructions contained in it.
The role of an executor
Your executor will carry out any instructions in your Will when you die. It is not always an easy job, even if you think that the instructions you gave are simple to understand. Sometimes, the whole process can take many months to complete. The sorts of jobs an executor may have to do include:
- deciding when to sell any property, so that the beneficiaries will inherit the most money;
- ensure the correct amount of capital gains tax, inheritance tax and income tax are paid.
Choosing an executor
Anyone who is 18 or over can take on the role of an executor. Beneficiaries can be appointed to the role of executor and this is quite often the case. A lot of people select a spouse or civil partner, or even their children. Up to 4 executors can be appointed, but they have to act together when decisions need to be made, so this number is not usually considered to be a practical choice.
Two executors should be chosen, just in case one dies. You could choose one member of your family and one professional. such as an accountant or solicitor. Anyone you ask to take on the role who is ac professional will normally charge for the service.
Who makes a good executor?
Just for your peace of mind you should choose someone you can trust to carry out your wishes and smooth out any disagreements. It is handy if the person or people you choose have good communication skills and have the time and capability to work with legal paperwork. You may decide to choose one family member who looks after the more personal aspects of your Will and a second who is a solicitor who will cover the taxes and legal formalities.
It is common for someone to name an older child, a nephew or niece, or even a grandchild if s/he is old enough. You should always ask first to ensure whoever you choose is happy to take on the role. Choosing a wife, husband or partner could be traumatic for them if the person is the sole executor. This is why it helps to choose somebody outside the family circle so that they can get on with their side of the executor’s role immediately.
If you are not able to name anyone what happens?
Fortunately, there is a last resort in the form of the Public Trustee, who as a government official can be your executor. A Public Trustee tends to take on the role if your will indicates everything should go to a single named person, but s/he is not able to act as an executor because of a disability.
As soon as you have found a suitable executor, you should ensure that you include in your will their full name and address, otherwise they may be unable to do their job if they cannot be located.