If you are thinking about making a Will, one of the first things you will need to consider is whom you would like to act as your Executors.
Most people start off by selecting their partner or spouse, which is great, but if they are elderly or frail they might not be the best choice.
You should really begin by looking at the qualities of a good Executor and go from there.
Here is a list of the qualities you should look for:
1. Good administration skills
2. A good communicator by phone and letter
3. Someone who has the time to administer your estate
4. Someone who has your best interests in mind
5. Someone who knows you and your wishes
6. Perhaps someone who has been an Executor before
7. Someone you trust to execute your Will
8. A responsible person who is aware of the importance of this appointment
9. Someone with a working knowledge of the process is advantageous
10. Ideally someone who lives local to you
You can of course appoint multiple Executors who can work jointly together and this works well if they are family members and have the skills to complete the task.
Don't fall into the pitfall of selecting Executors just because they are family members, as this can put undue pressure on them to complete a task for which they may not be the best qualified.
You may also wish to appoint a reserve Executor in case your first choice relinquishes their duties or is unable to act for some reason.
Another option is to appoint a professional Executor, such as a Legal Executive or a Solicitor but always ensure you obtain an idea of the costs beforehand.
An alternative to appointing a professional Executor is to ensure that the wording in your Will allows for your Executors to appoint professionals to assist them should they need to do so, it acts as a safety net for your Executors to use should they need a helping hand to guide them through the process.
The task of an Executor is a very important one, as it is they who will be applying for Probate, assessing and detailing all your assets, selling or cashing in of assets and completing the Probate and HM Revenue forms.
They will also be responsible for the payment of all your outstanding liabilities including any tax liabilities, cashing in and selling of shares, potentially selling property and disposing of all your personal possessions.
In addition, once all your assets have been liquidated they will then need to ensure that all disbursements are made to the beneficiaries in accordance with the Wills instructions.
There is a lot of work for your Executor to perform and this is why we strongly advise that you make your choices carefully.
So when you come to make your Will, make sure you give the choice of your Executors careful consideration and then you can be sure that your affairs will be managed competently.