What's in a Will?
Paul Mounce, 22nd May, 2018
Part One - Executors
Welcome to the first in a series of articles looking at the most important parts of a Will. First, we will examine what is probably the most important role in a Will: the Executor.
The Executor is responsible for administering your estate in accordance with your wishes. This can include organising your funeral, gathering in your assets and settling any debts that you owe.
They can be responsible for selling your home, distributing your personal possessions and will ultimately distribute your estate to your chosen beneficiaries.
Now, to dispel a misunderstanding that we encounter quite regularly... there is nothing to stop a beneficiary of a Will being an Executor.
In fact, most wills for married couple start by appointing each other as Executors and leaving the entire estate to each other.
Having a beneficiary witness a will, that is not so good, but that is for another article!
We recommend that you have at least two Executors to share the workload (it can be a time-consuming job), and to have a backup if one Executor is unavailable to act.
You can however choose one main Executor followed by one or more replacement Executor, if you would prefer one person in particular to administer the estate.
So, who should you chose as your Executor?
People often chose their spouse in the first instance and then their children after both have died. For those who don’t have spouses or children, you can chose other family members or even friends.
The only real requirement to be an Executor is that you are 18 years old, so if your children are younger than that you will need to appoint someone else until they are old enough.
Remember that your Will only takes place on your death so appointing Executors who are significantly older than you might not be the best idea!
It is important to think about who your Executors are.
There are often lots of tasks to carry out and your Executor often has to deal with lots of beneficiaries enquiring as to how things are going and not always getting on with each other!
Executors often double as Trustees, looking after large sums of money for any children who are not old enough to receive their Inheritance on your death. This can mean that the role of the Executor can last for many years.
If you cannot think of anyone to be your Executors then you may want to consider professional Executors such as Gosschalks. With over 40 years combined experience our team has dealt with most things estates can throw at us.
Appointing us is a way to allow your beneficiaries to receive their Inheritance without having to worry about all the administration that an Executor has to face.
For an easy and hassle-free way to make a will
You can find out more about drawing up a will here or you can complete your will initial enquiry online with us by clicking here.
Once received, your details will be passed to one of our solicitors who will make contact with you shortly afterwards.
We always aim to meet when possible to discuss your wishes in detail to ensure that every one of them is taken care of precisely how you require.