Choosing an executor is an important decision. An executor is a person or organisation that you appoint to carry out the wishes you have stated in your will and administering your estate when you pass. Being an executor isn’t easy and, in some cases, can be quite complicated. So, who should you choose as your executor?
What does an executor do?
An executor will be required to:
- Locate the will and documentation
- Make funeral arrangements if needed
- Identify all assets and liabilities
- Distribute the proceeds of your estate
- Defending the estate against any legal claims
- Continuing administration and asset management if required
Who can I choose as my executor?
Anyone can be an executor who has the capacity to administer legal and financial affairs, even if they need to seek advice and support to carry out their duties as executor. You can even select a person under 18 years of age but understand that their guardian will be appointed as executor until they reach 18 years of age.
Your executor should be somebody that you trust, who will act responsibly, and has agreed to take up the role. In most cases, this is a relative or close friend. Remember that this may be a time-consuming task. Make sure you are fully satisfied that they will respect your wishes and have the knowledge and skills to carry out your wishes. Also, take into consideration any conflicts of interest. For example, you may not wish to appoint an executor who is also a beneficiary as they will be in a difficult position when administering your estate.
If nobody comes to mind, you can choose to appoint a third party as your executor, such as a lawyer or private trustee company. This will ensure impartiality and professionalism when it comes to administering your will. Appointing a third party may cost more but will result in likely result in quicker administration of your estate.
Choosing an executor can be a difficult choice. We are here to help with planning your estate and making the process as easy as possible for you and your executor.