This is a short and sweet guide as a part of our Wills Café series. We want to make learning about the different aspects of what makes up a Will as easy for you to understand as possible.
Knowing these terms will help you when it comes to the Will writing process, whether you are making it yourself, or talking to a Solicitor.
So, what exactly is an Executor? Well, this person would be the one who is responsible for carrying out your wishes when you have passed. It is a huge job for someone to undertake, so it is important that you select the someone you trust to carry it out.
What does an Executor do?
An Executor will have many duties upon the time of your passing. These duties may include:
- Finding out what assets you possess. Your assets include Physical Objects, such as rings, cars and other important things that you own, bank accounts, Mortgages and Pensions.
- They will be responsible for finding and contacting anyone you may have named in your Will. They will make sure that any money, possessions and property go to the people you have named.
- An Executor will wrap up any affairs you may have, such as notifying the Bank and the Council that you have passed away, cancelling any credit cards you may have, closing down any accounts you may hold and collecting your benefits.
- There may be money left in your estate. This will be used to pay off any Mortgage Payments, Bills and Debts that you may have remaining.
What exactly can an Executor do?
An Executor will have the ability to access any and all bank accounts and personal finance documents that you have. They will only be able to access these if and only if you die. They will only be able to use this power to carry out your wishes. An Executor is limited by the duty of care (which falls under the Trustee Act, 2000). This means that they have a legal responsibility to act in the best interest of your estate and beneficiaries. In other words, they do not have the ability to take your whole estate to Vegas and put all of your money on Black.
How should I choose an Executor?
It is very important that you take great care in choosing your Executor as they will be the ones to carry out the wishes that you have put in your will and find the solutions to any problems that may arise.
It may be worth then thinking carefully before choosing your partner to be the Executor of your estate. Your partner will be dealing with your passing and may find it difficult to carry out your wishes at that time. A common choice for people is to select their children, siblings or even close friends.
You may want to select a second Executor, as in order to sell any property you may have, a second Executor will have to be appointed. This may also assist the first Executor if they are your partner or someone very close to you as they may have a clearer head, and be more suited to the admin tasks.
Due to the difficulties someone may have, it is not recommended to appoint an Executor who lives in another/foreign country.
Can an Executor also be one of my beneficiaries?
Anyone who you have named in your will as a beneficiary can also be an Executor. They must be over 18 years of age, however.
Can my solicitor be an Executor?
You may wish to appoint a Solicitor if you think your family and friends may not wish to take on the responsibilities of an Executor. You will have to bare in mind that a Solicitor and an Accountant will charge for this service and it will be taken out of your estate.
If you wish for Hannah Solicitors to be an Executor on your Will, please do not hesitate to contact us via the form below, or by contacting us by Phone or Email.
Telephone: 01933 588 022
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