Choosing the right executor or executors when making a will is a crucial part of the will writing process. They will be the representatives that take control of your estate through the probate process, when you eventually pass.
What is an executor of a will?
When you make a will in the UK, you are required to nominate an executor to help manage your estate when you pass away. Your “estate” includes any money, properties, tax and businesses, that you possess. It is up to you to decide how these things will be distributed in your will.
You can choose anyone to be your will’s executor, including family and friends. However, we recommend including a professional executor. This will help to avoid any potential mishaps that could easily arise due to the vast responsibilities associated with the role.
What does an executor do?
Well, here’s just a few of the duties usually placed upon them throughout the probate process:
Help to distribute the estate to the beneficiaries in conjunction with the will
Registering the death of the deceased
Gathering copies of the will
Helping with funeral arrangements
Valuing the estate of the deceased
Managing finances, outstanding debts and taxes
Collecting assets from the estate, including sold properties
Working closely with legal professionals if a joint approach is chosen
Who to choose as your will executor/executors?
You can choose any adult you like to be the executor of your will, but they must agree to the responsibilities involved.
Often it is a good idea to split the responsibilities of executorship between a few different people - you can nominate up to four. If you do choose more than one executor, not all of them have to be involved in the process of executing your will throughout probate. It is entirely legal for one executor to take over all proceedings and responsibilities, as long as they all unanimously agree that this should be the case.
As some of the responsibilities during probate can require expertise surrounding wills and finances, it is recommended that you opt for a professional executor service (either a professional working alone or alongside a family member to help them through the probate process).
At Walsh West, with our professional executor service, your estate will be organised and distributed during probate without legal error and in line with your final wishes.
Keep in mind that if you choose a relative/family member to be your executor, and they make a mistake (for example, a beneficiary doesn’t receive an asset that they’re entitled to), that individual would be liable for their mistake. This comes with the potential for disputes and financial implications. It is therefore wise to seek professional guidance.
When does an executor notify the beneficiaries?
There is no set law with regard to the timescale for beneficiaries to be notified of their estate entitlements. However, our professional executors will always aim to do so as soon as possible. This is done so that family members and beneficiaries can understand the legal processes and any possible financial implications.
For initial advice about Estate Planning including Lasting Powers of Attorney, Wills, Trusts and Probate; call our team on 0203 488 7503, 01992 236 110 or contact us by email at email@example.com or via our website www.walshwestcca.com and we will help