Do you trust your family? Of course you do.
Would you be happy giving them the responsibility to manage your affairs after your death, when they are at their most vulnerable in their grief?
Many of us choose our closest family to be our Executors in our wills without really realising the level of responsibility that will befall them when the time comes.
At this sad time, our nearest and dearest may just not be able to cope with all that this entails, and this is why we should give careful consideration to who we name as our Executors.
You might decide that your spouse would have your best interests at heart and the ability to administer your estate, liaising with financial institutions, government bodies and completing the necessary paperwork when applying for Probate which is great.
By appointing a second / third Executor you could ease the burden, or by having a reserve Executor in case they feel they are unable to cope with the task is also a great idea.
So what would we look for when choosing our Executor(s). Well, firstly someone you trust to carry out your wishes as outlined in the Will. Then, by law they have to be over the age of 18 as you would expect. Ideally, it would also be someone who has good communication and admin skills and would be adept at form filling.
This is why, although we appoint our partner or spouse automatically, they might not be the best skilled for the job when the time comes.
Another option is to appoint a professional Executor, this can be in the form of a firm of Solicitors or a Legal Executive but you should beware that the costs of providing such a service can vary considerably and there should be given due consideration as to the availability of funds in the estate to cover these costs.
You can appoint up to four Executors and these can act jointly which means they all act together unanimously, or you can have one main Executor and others names as Reserve Executors.
So what happens if my Executor passes away before me? Well, ideally, you could take this opportunity to revisit your Will and make some changes, or if not, then the Reserve Executors would take their place. If you hadn't named any Reserve Executors, then the Will would fail and thus you would have been deemed as "dying intestate" which means for all intents and purposes that you died without a valid will. This then means that the government template of Intestacy would apply, which could also mean, of course, that your express wishes may not be catered for.
This is why we offer a totally free Will Review Service. All you need to do is to send us a copy of your current will via post or email, and we will audit it, write you a short report containing any areas which may raise concerns later and then the rest is up to you.