A key decision when making a Will is who you want to deal with your estate in the event of your death. These people will be your Executors. Executors are usually family members, close friends or professionals, such as Solicitors.
When choosing who to appoint as your Executor, you should choose someone who is organised and would be able to deal with the responsibility the role brings.
We would usually advise that you have at least two Executors (maximum of four) so that you have a substitute/replacement in the event one of your Executors is unable or unwilling to act. For example they may die before you or they may lose mental capacity.
It is a good idea to discuss this with the person(s) before appointing them, just in case they do not want to act then you can think about someone else. You can also let them know where key information and documents are located.
The Executors are usually tasked with the following jobs (although this is not an exhaustive list):-
- Registering your death
- Arranging your funeral
- Notifying the various organisations of your death
- Completing the paperwork and application to apply for a Grant to deal with your estate, including swearing an Oath and obtaining the value of all of your assets and liabilities as at the date of your death
- Placing Statutory Notices (which is an advertisement to any creditors in the local paper and in the London Gazette)
- Collecting in your assets which includes closing your bank and building society accounts and selling and transferring any property, investments and holdings
- Paying any tax due
- Paying all of your bills, debts and any expenses
- And finally distributing your estate in accordance with your Will.
If you have been appointed as an Executor in a Will and you do not want to act, you can renounce (which means that you will not have any involvement in the estate). You can also have power reserved (which means that you do not wish to act at the immediate time but do not wish to exclude yourself from ever acting in the future).
If you are thinking about preparing a Will please speak to us and we will be more than happy to guide you through the process, including discussing the appointment of your Executors.
If you are an Executor and require any assistance or you do not wish to act, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice.