The Executor of a Will is responsible for carrying out your wishes in strict accordance with the terms of your will.
It can be a difficult and time-consuming task.
You should choose your Executor carefully, ensuring that the person has both the time to devote to your will and the ability to make decisions and/or seek professional advice.
In summary, the duties of an Executor may include:-
- Locating your will. You should advise your Executor where they can locate your will after you die, and remember to inform them should you change its location.
- Arranging your funeral. Your will can include directions for your cremation or burial, and you may also choose to write a Statement of Wishes to accompany your will.
- Liaising with family members about the contents of your will, and meeting with your legal and financial advisors.
- Assuming all responsibility for the protection of your assets, e.g, maintaining insurance policies, protecting business interests, maintaining investments.
- Determining and preparing a Statement of Assets and Debts.
- Obtaining grant of probate.
- Dealing with and distributing the estate, including:-
- Payment of all liabilities, legacies, and specific gifts;
- Establishing Trusts;
- Preparing and/or obtain accounting and tax information;
- Transferring assets to beneficiaries;
- Maintaining administration and preparing final statements.
If your Executor is providing professional advice in the course of administering your estate, you can make provision for payment of their usual and reasonable professional fees. You can also choose to remunerate your non-professional Executors for their troubles by paying an hourly rate for time spent administering your estate.
Your Executor may be a beneficiary of your estate.
You should choose an alternate Executor in the event that your nominated Executor is unwilling or unable to act.
Common choices for Executors are:-
- Wife/husband, with child/children as the alternate;
- Wife/husband, with trusted friend and legal advisor as joint Executors.