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Choosing your best friend as your executor

31
Oct

2018

If you are creating or updating your Will, you will need to think about who you would like to be your executor – the person who will carry out your wishes and manage your accounts after your death. Choosing an executor can be a difficult decision and not one to make lightly, it is important to choose the right people who you trust and will work best for you.

Choosing an executor, or multiple executors, for your Will is one of the most important decisions you have to make during the preparation of the Will. These are the people who, after you have passed away, will sort out your property and carry out any instructions you have left in your Will. You have complete control over who you choose to take on this role, but it is an important choice to get right.

What are the duties of an executor?

The job of an executor, or more than one executor, is to make sure all your financial assets and documentation are in order after your passing. They will need to send a copy of your death certificate to any businesses or institutions who look after money for you, to make sure that the accounts are frozen, before having the money moved into a bank account for your estate.

This process will include finding out about, and paying or collecting, any bills or debts that you owe or are owed, as well as bringing together all your money from different sources, including bank accounts, savings, pensions and insurance policies.

They will also need to make a list of all your possessions, property and money, decide whether to sell your house or who it needs to be passed to, and distribute any leftover money to your beneficiaries in accordance to the instructions you have left in your Will.

What makes a good executor?

Your executors will be responsible for managing a lot of paperwork and also may be involved in dealing with legal or financial issues. For those reasons, it is important to choose someone that you feel would be able to manage these areas effectively and efficiently. You will also want to choose an executor who is good with time management and working to deadlines as, sometimes, your Will may need to be sorted out quite quickly.

It is often a sensible idea to choose more than one executor for your will, although you should make sure that whoever you choose will be able to work together well. If you are able to find appropriate executors who have skills and knowledge about either the legal or financial/tax aspects of the process, they will be able to share the work between them.

Who should you choose?

Anyone above the age of 18 can be the executor of your Will. Most commonly, people will choose a member of their family, such as a partner or child as one or more of their executors, or a very close family friend. The reason for this is that it is vitally important to choose an executor for your Will that you can trust implicitly.

While it is often tempting to choose your spouse or partner as your single executor, it would be wise to remember that they will already be dealing with a lot of grief at the time of sorting out your Will. If you would still like to include them as your executor, it would be prudent to include an additional executor to take some of the burden off their shoulders.

It is most common for people to choose two or more executors so that if an executor dies before you do, there is still another executor to carry out your wishes when you pass away.

If you do not feel that a family member or friend would be the best person to become an executor for your Will, there is the option to hire a professional executor, such as a solicitor or accountant. These professional executors will charge for their services but will have an advantage on anything that requires their specialist knowledge.

Sometimes, the best combination of executors is one professional executor and one personal executor, such as a family member. The professional executor will be able to handle the complex and specialist legal or financial issues within your Will while the family member will be able to deal sensitively with the rest of your family and friends.

It is important to note that while someone can still be your executor even if you leave them something in your Will, they will not be able to act as one of your Will’s official witnesses.

 

There is no better time to drawing up your Will then now; Funeral Planning Experts can help you get started. Our website covers information on creating a Will, what to include in your Will, explanations of types of Will and more.

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