How do I choose an executor?
What does an executor do?
An executor is the person responsible for carrying out the instructions in your Will.
Here are a few common tasks an executor completes:
- Arranging your burial / cremation.
- Obtaining probate (if required).
- Collecting investment income.
- Selling assets (if required).
- Repaying debts.
- Distributing the remainder of the estate.
Who should I appoint as my executor?
There is no hard and fast rule. Often people appoint their husband/wife, child or someone they trust e.g. a lifelong friend. Your executor can also be a beneficiary.
While there are no strict rules, here are a few things to consider when choosing an executor:
- Are they likely to outlive you?
- Will they have the time to do what is needed?
- Will they be impartial if there is a dispute?
- Do they have some understanding of your assets?
- Will they be prepared to deal with your assets confidently, and in the way you want?
- Do you trust them?
- Are they happy to do the job?
Can I only appoint one person?
No, in fact you should consider having an alternate executor in case the first executor is not available or changes their mind. It’s also possible to appoint 2 people to act as joint executors.
If you don’t know anyone, or you want someone independent, you can appoint a solicitor, accountant or a person from a trustee company.
Talk to your solicitor about your options and the pros and cons of each.