Home > Executorships > Who do I Name as an Executor of My Will?

Who do I Name as an Executor of My Will?

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 3 Aug 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Executor Execute Will Testament Estate

When writing your will one of the most important factors is the choice and appointment of the executors. Of all the individuals named in the document they are, perhaps, the most important, as it is to them that the responsibility to carry out your instructions falls.

Roles

Essentially, the role of the executor or executors is two-fold. In the first instance they are required to make a valuation of the estate of the deceased individual, including all of their assets, and then work out whether or not the estate will be liable for Inheritance Tax (IHT) payments. This often requires considerable amounts of work on the part of the executors, including searching for assets which are not immediately available, and making a reasonable estimate of their value.

Furthermore, they are then required to pay off any debts which are still owed by your estate (including outstanding tax bills if applicable), followed by making gifts from the estate in accordance with your will. They must then gather together the remainder and deal with it in the way you have instructed.

As you can see, the role of executor is, therefore, one which should be given only to someone in whom you place complete trust. There is little incentive for the nominated individual; they can claim back expenses and, of course, you can make them a beneficiary of your will, but there is no payment as such. When choosing your executors, you have two distinct options: either a close friend or relative, or a professional executor.

Personal or Professional?

There are some good advantages to choosing an executor with whom you have a close personal relationship. Many people nominate their spouse as this is generally the person in whom they place most trust, and this can give peace of mind to the testator.

However, it is also felt by many people that the surviving spouse will be in no emotional position to take on the multitudinous responsibilities associated with the role. In these cases, the position is generally offered to the children of the testator or close friends. If you choose not to nominate professional executors you should name at least two in your will, although you can specify up to four. This ensures that, if one is unable to perform the tasks on your death, or if they pass away before you, there will be another option.

The second option is to employ a professional executor to take care of your affairs. Sometimes this is a dedicated company, although more frequently individuals who choose this course of action employ their bank or solicitor to take action on their behalf.

The benefits of this choice are that you should have the peace of mind that your nominated executors will definitely take on the responsibilities, are experts in their field. The latter seems not always to be the case, however; stories appear almost weekly of incompetent executors, particularly from banks.

If you choose to nominate a professional executor, you should investigate how much they will charge. Some require an up-front fee, but it is more common for them to arrange to become beneficiaries in your will as payment. Often a professional executor service is offered as part of a will-writing and trust creation package, which can be a good idea for someone with slightly more complicated intentions.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Can an Executor also be a Beneficiary of same will?
fleur - 3-Aug-15 @ 12:08 PM
What happens next if the executor/sole beneficiary of someone in a dementia care home predeaces her?
Bill - 25-May-15 @ 8:12 AM
@SHONA. It depends on how busy the courts are. It should not take more than a few months though.
TheWillExpert - 17-Apr-15 @ 9:58 AM
Been informed my the solicitor that my brother and I and benefisiory to my father's estate.We never had contact with my father but his names is on both our birth certificates. the solicitor has all the paperwork and he has put it to the court for one of us to be the executor, how long does this take ?
SHONA - 16-Apr-15 @ 12:24 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Robin
    Re: Are Verbal Changes to a Will Valid?
    My Mom passed away she had a will made in 2012 though since has wanted to make changes she told me and my sistee (whom is…
    27 July 2019
  • Ray Delta
    Re: Debt After Death
    My partner passed away in February 2019 leaving no estate assets or monies, she had a vehicle on a lease hire agreement with an £8,800. now owing.…
    7 July 2019
  • Geoff
    Re: Divorce and Revoking a Will
    Three years ago when my wife, now deceased, was in a nursing home I had a will written that left everything to my wife's great…
    4 July 2019
  • Tonyn
    Re: How Legally Binding is a Will?
    My wife’s mother has dementia and some of her family don’t want nothing to do with her now and no longer visit her, and they…
    10 June 2019
  • John25
    Re: How Legally Binding is a Will?
    I made the mistake of removing the staple from a will to produce a copy for a beneficiary. What are the usual consequences and…
    16 April 2019
  • Butler
    Re: Life Estates
    My father has just died and I always thought he owned his property as I found deeds etc but now have found paperwork indicating it is owned by a…
    13 November 2018
  • Sue
    Re: Life Estates
    In my mums will she expressed the wish for her partner to be a life tenant. It also states that we must allow him to move house as often as he wishes.…
    5 October 2018
  • giblet
    Re: How Legally Binding is a Will?
    My wife has just passed away and we have found a will we didn't know existed. It leaves various bits and bobs but also leaves…
    30 September 2018
  • Solly
    Re: Why Make a Will?
    I just read what I said and I meant to say if you are the witness to the signing of the will. If a person is living as if they are the…
    5 September 2018
  • Solly
    Re: Why Make a Will?
    I have read that if you are the spouse or civil partner of a beneficiary of a will, the beneficiary may not receive anything from the estate. What…
    5 September 2018