Simply, a Will is a legally binding document which tells everyone what should happen to your assets after you die. Without a Will, you lose the ability to have your say about this and instead leave the UK’s intestacy rules to dictate who benefits.
Did you know that more than half of adults in the UK do not have a Will?
Our aim over the next few months is to delve into the world of Wills and explain to you the many aspects and elements of will writing and their importance. In this article, we’ll discuss Executors.
What is an Executor and who should I appoint?
An Executor is an individual appointed within your Will that will be responsible for administering your estate and carry out the instructions of your Will. Such responsibility will include applying for a Grant of Probate (if required), selling and transferring any assets, paying any liabilities and distributing your estate in accordance with the wishes that you’ve set out in your Will.
Does my Executor need to be a Solicitor?
No. Your Executor does not need to be legally qualified. They can apply for probate (if required) as an individual although they can also instruct a professional to assist them if they wish (this can be a Solicitor/ Probate Clerk or Accountant).
Can my Executor also be a Beneficiary of my Will?
Can I appoint my child as an Executor?
Yes, but an Executor must be over the age of 18 at the date of your death.
How many Executors can I appoint?
The maximum number of people that can act as an executor at any one time is 4.
What happens if the Executor I appoint can no longer act?
In some circumstances, it may be that the person you have appointed within your Will can no longer act, due to illness or they may have passed away before you. It is therefore always advisable that you revisit your Will every so often, and update your Will if required, in order to ensure that it reflects any change in circumstances. We advise that you appoint at least two executors (either to work together or appoint one to act alone and appoint a substitute executor to step in, if the first executor cannot act for any reason). This provides your Will with further security.
Appointing an individual to act as your Executor is an important decision to consider as it is a duty that carries significant responsibility. Executors have a legal duty to act in the best interest of your estate, rather than any personal interest.
You should appoint people who you trust and can rely on to comply with your wishes and as such, many appoint friends, family or a professional.