An executor is someone who is appointed under a Will to deal with your property after death in accordance with your instructions.
Anyone with capacity over the age of eighteen can be an executor, with people often choosing someone who will inherit under the Will, a friend or relative to act in this capacity. It can also be beneficial to appoint a firm of solicitors, either alone or to act with someone else, especially when an estate is larger or more complex.
Given the work that executors have to do and the type of decisions that they have to make, it is important to consider who will be ready and willing to act when the time comes. If the thought of interpreting legal documents, completing complicated forms and working to deadlines leaves your nearest and dearest in a cold sweat at the best of times, would they have the time, energy and inclination to take all this and more on while dealing with a bereavement? Would they be put in a difficult situation if someone were to challenge your Will?
If you do have friends or relatives in mind, you might want to ask them how they feel about being appointed to avoid them refusing the job when the time comes, or taking it on but then getting themselves into difficulties if it all gets a bit too much for them. If not, who would you trust enough to deal with your hard-earned assets?
Appointing regulated, impartial solicitors with the necessary training and experience can be a good idea, particularly if your estate is likely to be complicated or if there are likely to be any ongoing trusts.
Naturally, if solicitors are appointed, they will normally charge for their services in the same manner as any other professionals would. The Law Society requires that this is explained to the individual when they make their Will. That said, appointing solicitors as executors from the outset can in fact be less costly than a solicitor having to get involved down the line to help an executor out of a sticky situation. You can also be sure that, whoever may pass away or lose capacity before you, solicitors in your chosen firm will be able and willing to act when the time comes.
If you would like to discuss in more detail the benefits of appointing Gotelee Solicitors LLP as the executors in your Will, please contact [email protected].