Your executor is the person who is charged with the responsibility of seeing that your will is carried out.
You should appoint at least 2 competent and willing executors that you believe will be trustworthy (as they will have complete control of your assets when you are dead). Don't appoint more than necessary, as probate will only be granted to the first 4 named executors.
You do NOT have to appoint professionals, such as solicitors, banks or trust companies, which are often slow and very expensive. If you decide to, please make sure that you've got a written contract with any professional executor that details their duties and limits their fees.
An Executor is the person named in the Will who will be given authority, by the Court, to administer your estate and distribute your assets in accordance with your Will.
The responsibilities of Executors are to:
- locate and identify the assets and any liabilities of the estate;
- deal with the administration of the estate according to law by collecting these assets in;
- determine the beneficiaries;
- apply to the Court for a grant of Probate of the Will. (Probate is a formal document that confirms the Executors and gives them permission to administer the estate;
- make sure all claims and debts are received, assessed and paid if substantiated;
- arrange for the distribution of the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will;
- prepare accounts;
- deal with taxation returns;
- defend litigation.
Wills provided through our online Will Service also appoint your Executors as Trustees of your Will. The Trustees are responsible for:
- managing any trust that might arise in your Will;
- holding funds for children until the date specified in the Will or until a child’s 18th birthday.