Choosing your executors

An executor is a person in charge of administering your estate in line with your Will after you pass away. Their responsibilities typically include paying any outstanding debts, taxes, or fees owed using assets from the estate and distributing the remaining value amongst the beneficiaries in accordance with the Will.

Picking executors to your Will is a big decision that requires careful consideration. You may have someone who instantly springs to mind, or you may not be sure of anyone who would be suitable.

You can choose up to four executors to act on your behalf. However, this is not always practical as they may have to make decisions together, which can be difficult with more people coordinating. It is, therefore, usually advised to choose two executors, which means that even if one dies before you, your Will is still valid. You can also choose substitute executors to act if your first choices are unable to for any reason.

So how do you pick? We have highlighted some key things to consider when choosing your executors.

Your ideal executor

  • Must be over 18 years old.
  • Can be a beneficiary of your Will.
  • Could be a family member, a friend, an associate you trust, or a professional firm offering executor services, such as a solicitor.
  • Should be both willing to act in this role and capable of handling the responsibilities. 

Some people’s first thought for an executor is a spouse or close family member. However, you should consider how this role could add stress at a time where they are already grieving your passing.

Choosing a solicitor as executor

If you don't know anyone who is a good fit to act as your executor, or you want to include a professional to assist the executor(s) you choose from your family/friends, appointing a solicitor firm may be a good option for you.

Woman Managing Accounts

Your executor will be required to carry out what can be complicated duties, such as valuing your estate, so you should consider who would be comfortable and adept at this. Choosing a solicitor as one of your executors may be a good option, as they should be able to ensure that your Will is executed quickly, efficiently, and professionally. It's worth noting that using a solicitor will likely raise additional costs, however solicitors will typically offer indemnity insurance to protect your family against anything going wrong.