Choosing the Right Person to Handle Your Final Affairs: A Guide to Selecting an Executor for Your Will
When preparing your will, one of the most important decisions you will need to make is who to choose as your executor. Your executor is the person who will be responsible for carrying out the terms of your Will and managing the distribution of your assets after you pass away.
Therefore, it is important to choose someone who you trust to handle these responsibilities in a competent and responsible manner.
What to consider when choosing an executor in your Will
One of the first things to consider when choosing an executor is whether the person you have in mind can handle the job. Your executor will need to be organised, reliable, and capable of making difficult decisions. They will also need to be willing to take on the time-consuming and sometimes emotionally challenging task of managing your estate.
Another factor to consider is whether the person you have in mind is familiar with your financial affairs and assets. It can be helpful if your executor has a good understanding of your financial situation and is able to easily locate and manage your assets.
You may also want to consider whether your chosen executor will be able to act impartially and in the best interests of all your beneficiaries. If you have multiple beneficiaries with conflicting interests, it may be wise to choose an executor who can approach the task objectively and ensure that your wishes are carried out fairly.
In addition to these considerations, you may also want to think about whether your chosen executor is physically and emotionally able to handle the responsibilities of the role. If your estate is large or complex, it may be helpful to choose an executor who is younger and in good health, as the job may require a significant time commitment.
Why you may want to use a solicitor to be the executor of your Will
If you are unable to choose a friend, family member or other loved one as your executor, you may wish to use a solicitor instead. Why?
- Legal expertise: Solicitors are trained in the law and have a deep understanding of the legal process. This means that they may be better equipped to handle the technical aspects of administering an estate and ensuring that the terms of the will are carried out properly.
- Objectivity: Solicitors are expected to act impartially and in the best interests of all parties involved. This means that they can provide a level of objectivity and impartiality when making decisions about the distribution of assets and the resolution of any disputes that may arise.
- Professional standards: Solicitors are bound by strict codes of conduct and professional standards. This means that they are required to act with integrity and in the best interests of their clients.
- Ability to represent the estate in court: If the will is challenged in court, a solicitor may be able to provide stronger representation and support than a layperson.
- Familiarity with the estate: If the solicitor has already been involved in the preparation of the will or the administration of the estate, they may be more familiar with the assets and liabilities of the estate and able to carry out their duties more efficiently.
- Peace of mind: Choosing a solicitor as the executor of your will can provide additional peace of mind, as you know that your affairs are being handled by a professional who is trained and experienced in handling complex legal matters.
Ultimately, the most important factor in choosing an executor is finding someone who you trust to handle your affairs with care and integrity. By carefully considering the above factors and selecting an executor who is well-suited to the task, you can ensure that your wishes are carried out to the best of their ability after you are gone.
At Wolferstans, we have a team of experts who have been selected to act as our clients’ executors.
Examples of when Wolferstans have acted as executors:
For our client, who was a widow with no close relatives…
This made appointing an executor a difficult decision at the time, which can be incredibly worrying. In these instances, it is helpful to appoint a solicitor, as the client had certainty regarding who would deal with her estate and fulfil the wishes in her Will.
For our client, whose other executor passed away before him…
Unfortunately, the beneficiaries were not in good contact with each other, which made having professional executors very helpful. Solicitors are able to remain neutral in looking for the best solution for the estate in instances where this may be difficult for executors that are family members or close friends.