How to Choose an Executor of Your Will

A lot of people prepare a will so that they can pass their assets to their loved ones. When you are creating your will, it is essential that you consider who will carry out your wishes when you are gone. An executor will have an important role when you pass away and this is why you should put a lot of thought into who you choose for this duty.

First, let’s find out more about an executor of a will and how you can choose the best executor for your situation.

What is the Role of an Executor?

The role of an executor is essential for carrying out the wishes in your will. They will follow your instructions so that everything can go as you want it to when you die. This involves dividing your assets among family and friends and trying to sort out any problems if they were to arise.

Some executors will have to make difficult decisions even if you think your will is straight forward. For example, there may be circumstances when property has to be sold so that people can inherit more money and their share. In addition, the executor will be in charge of ensuring the correct amount of inheritance tax, capital gains and income tax to be paid. With so much responsibility, it is essential to choose the right person for the role.

Who Can Be an Executor?

In most cases, anybody can be an executor. You just have to be over the age of 18 years old and have the capacity to carry out the duty. For example, this role is often given to family members in a will, even if they are going to be inheriting assets. This can be a child, grandchild or a sibling, as well as a husband or wife. All that is important is that you trust that person with your will and believe they can carry out the role effectively when you pass away. Be aware that your close family will be grieving for you after your death. Naming them as an executor may cause them a lot of stress and paperwork when it is not beneficial at that time in their life. This is something to bear in mind when you are making your decision.

It is also possible to make your solicitor or an accountant the executor of your will. They will have the financial and legal knowledge to be able to carry out the role effectively. Of course, this is a service and you will have to pay to make a professional the executor of your will. But this might offer you peace of mind and you can know that your wishes will be followed by somebody that knows what they are doing. Just ensure you know how you will be charged for their services, whether this is a bill or by them taking a share of your estate.

In some cases, a public trustee can be appointed as your executor. But this will only be in rare cases. For example, this can happen if you leave all of your assets to one person and they cannot be the executor. This might become a reality if the person does not have capacity or is a child.

Be aware that you can choose more than one executor for your will. In some cases, this can be a good thing and will allow the work to be shared out. If your will is complicated or you think your executors may become stressed, you can choose more than one. In addition, it also prepares for an event when one of your executors die. You can name up to four executors.

How Do I Choose an Executor?

One of the most important things about choosing an executor for a will is to select somebody you trust. They can be anybody that is in your life but you want to know that they will carry out your wishes to the best of your ability. They should also know how to deal with any disagreements and be able to reach fair solutions in case this happens with your will.

It is recommended that you inform the person you wish to be your executor. This way, they can know that they have this duty and you can make sure that they are able to cope with it. If they have an objection, it is best to select somebody else to be your executor instead.

When you have selected who is going to be the executor of your will, make sure that their details are easy to find. This should include their full name and address. They will have to be contacted when you pass away in order to begin their duties. The last thing you want is for there to be trouble finding them.