Wills – Who Should you Choose to be your Executor?

So, you’ve made the decision to make a Will and you know who you want to leave your home and cash assets to. But who to choose as your Executor isn’t always as obvious or an easy to choice.

Let’s start with what an Executor does. Your Executor tries to ensure that whatever you state should happen in your Will, actually happens. If you say your assets are to all go to the Cat’s Home down the road, that’s what the Executor will try to ensure it happens.

They administer your Estate appropriately, in accordance with the law. They ensure that all debts are paid, and everything left over is distributed to the people or charities you name.

It can be a tough job and the person you choose will bear a burden. If they do the job properly to the letter of the law, they have nothing to worry about. However, if they fail to do so, they could be held personally liable. This can be especially worrisome to Executors who do not use a Solicitor to guide them through the Probate process.

When deciding upon who to appoint as your Executor, use the following checklist: –

  • Do you trust them? It is possible that your Executor could, once they have accessed your assets, use the money to fly to some exotic location and live of the proceeds. Of course, if they do this, it’s a criminal offence, in which case, they may wish to use our criminal department. But preferably, you will choose someone who you trust that wouldn’t dream of running with the money! If there is no one you could trust then consider using an independent Executor, such as, Solicitors
  • How old is your Executor? The person you appoint must be aged 18 or over. There is no upper age limit but from a practical point of view, Executors who are older than you are more likely to die before you requiring you to then update your own Will. Of course, this is not always the case. Also consider the maturity of the person you are appointing. Will they be able to bear the burden of the role.
  • Your Executor can also be a beneficiary. But bear in mind that their roles as Executor and beneficiary may conflict leading them to make decisions in their best interest as beneficiary rather than the best interest of the entire Estate.
  • How many Executors? Preferably two or more. You can appoint up to four Executors. However, be aware that too many cooks can spoil the broth. Will your Executors work well together? Or will they argue? If you have concerns that they won’t work well together, consider appointing independent Executors, for example, Solicitors.

For further information and advice in regards to your Will, then please contact Samantha, George or Matt in our Wills and Probate Department on 0116 2628596 or samantha.downs@dodds-solicitors.co.uk  George.neal@dodds-solicitors.co.uk who will be happy to help.