An executor is someone nominated by you in your will to distribute the assets of the deceased person to the beneficiaries. Your executor can be a family member or trusted friend or a legal professional. Above all they should be trustworthy and knowledgeable and someone that you feel comfortable entrusting your estate to.
When nominating an executor there are several things to be considered. The person must be available and have the time to carry out the required tasks such as filing probates, maintaining financial records, notifying creditors and meeting with lawyers for legal advice. The executor of an estate must be over nineteen years old in order to file probate papers.
Heather Varley is an Associate in the Wills & Tax Team at Frettens. She says “If your estate is not too complicated, it’s worth considering appointing a family member that you can discuss matters with now. This will ensure that the person fully understands your wishes and what you expect. It is a good idea to appoint an alternate executor as well, just in case something happens and the executor cannot serve.”
Executors are not obliged to serve on your behalf and many lawyers recommend that you include in your will that they can be paid for the work they carry out. If you are asked to be an executor of a will, this means that you are legally responsible for carrying out the deceased’s wishes as stated in their will. You must undertake all the responsibilities involved with administering the estate and you are personally liable.
Heather concludes “Think very carefully before asking someone to be your executor. It should be someone who you feel can cope with what is often a difficult task at a distressing time. Our experienced team will be happy to talk to you about this – call us for a free initial appointment.”