You need to choose an executor when drafting your Will – this is the person responsible for carrying out your final wishes once you’ve gone, including distributing your assets. The job of an executor can be difficult and time-consuming, so it’s crucial you choose the right person.
What to consider
You need to ask several questions when choosing your executor, including:
Should it be a family member or friend?
Most people automatically think to choose a family member, such as a spouse or child. The benefit of this is they are usually the closest people to you and will understand your wishes and intentions better than anyone else.
If you don’t have a suitable family member, you may want to select a friend that you trust.
Trust is the most important factor when choosing an executor – family or friend.
Does age matter?
You must consider the age of your executor. Choose someone that is likely to outlive you and is fit, healthy and capable.
If you realise that your executors are no longer suitable when you review your Will, you can change them.
What if there’s family tension?
It’s important to consider how other family members may feel when choosing an executor. If you appoint one of your children that you consider more responsible, it could have an impact on the child that wasn’t chosen. Speak to your family before signing documents so everyone is aware and understand your reasons.
How about a professional executor?
If you don’t have anyone you feel you can trust to distribute your assets, you can nominate a professional executor. Your accountant or solicitor is suitable; there are also probate companies that take on the responsibility. A benefit of choosing a professional executor is that you can be confident your assets will be dealt with the correct way – it’s what they do every day.
Is the executor obliged to complete the role?
Your executor is not obliged to complete the role just because they’ve accepted it, but if they renounce probate and there’s no other nominee, it can delay the process when distributing assets. With that in mind, it can be beneficial to have two executors, just in case.
Start the process
Be sure to speak to everyone involved before deciding on an executor. Then, sit down with your executor and make your wishes clear to make it easier once you’ve gone. Remember, your executor can always speak to an expert for advice when they’re put into this role.
Ready to draft your Will? Contact us to start the process.