Choose the Executor of your Will wisely

An Executor is someone who is given legal authority in your Will to wind up your affairs after you die. When you die you will leave behind everything that you own such as your property, your savings, your pensions, your investments and your personal possessions including your car and possibly your pets. Your Executor will be responsible for dealing with these things in accordance with the law and in accordance with your wishes.
Being named as an Executor in a Will can be a challenging and time consuming job and it is therefore important to choose an Executor who has the time and the ability to take on the task. You can appoint more than one Executor in your Will and this will enable your Executors to agree who takes on particular tasks.
An Executor will have a number of duties and they include – identifying your assets, arranging for your assets to be valued, identifying and paying your debts from your estate and then distributing your estate as indicated in your Will. Your estate simply refers to all the property and assets that a deceased person leaves behind.
Your Executor can also be a beneficiary in your Will and so you can appoint your spouse and/or your children to act as your Executors even if you are also leaving them part of your estate. Your Executor need not be a beneficiary but if they are not a beneficiary then you may think it appropriate to indicate in your Will that your Executor can have a small amount of money to thank them for acting as your Executor.
If you are appointing more than one Executor then it is important that you appoint persons who are able to co-operate with each other and work together amicably. If you appoint persons who cannot co-operate with each other then it may be that the administration of your estate will be hindered and that your beneficiaries will not receive the assets you wish them to have as quickly as they would have done otherwise.
When making your Will you will be asked to name your Executors. You can choose a close friend or a family member but do choose someone who you think can carry out the tasks referred to above. If you do not have a close friend or family member whom you would wish to act as your Executor then you can name professional Executors – for example a solicitor or accountant to administer your estate for you. Above all choose someone that you trust.
If you are appointing a close friend or family member to act as your Executor then it is important that you ask them if they are happy to take on this role. You need not show them a copy of your Will but you need to let them know that you would like them to take on this role for you and see if they are willing. You can always appoint a close friend or family member to act jointly with a professional Executor.
Please do contact Dixon Stewart if you would like to discuss any of the above or to consider making or updating your Will