Your executors: how you can choose the right people for the job

by | Feb 7, 2023

When you create your will, you need to think about who your executors will be. They’re the people that will ensure that your wishes are carried out when you’re gone. You might automatically decide to nominate a close relative but are they the right choice? Here are a few things to consider to help you choose the right people for the job.

How many executors do you need?

You can have up to four executors or just one, but two are ideal, particularly if you’re choosing family members as your executors. Two executors are also necessary when there is property involved.  Grief can affect people in different ways, and you can’t always predict how someone will react. Even the most organised person can find themselves unable to focus for even short periods. For others, being an executor gives them a sense of purpose and something to focus on. Even if they’ve experienced bereavement before, the way they grieve for one person can be different from another.

Having two executors can provide mutual support and a backup.

What qualities do good executors need to have?

Executors need to be good at paperwork and admin. They should also be able to use a computer as most of the work involves submitting paperwork online. You might want to choose someone already familiar with HMRC submissions, as they’ll need to finalise your taxes.

It’s also a good idea to choose people who are open to compromise and discussion. Some wills are more complex than others, and your executors must agree on how to distribute your estate and the best way to get everything finalised. Your executors must agree on everything, so they’ll need to be able to resolve any disputes.

Be honest about family relationships

Your executors need to be able to work together and reach an agreement. That means that you’ll need to be honest about your family relationships. For example, will your kids work together, or do they bicker or disagree with each other constantly? Do you have any relatives that enjoy being awkward? If you choose them as an executor, they could do the minimum work but cause the maximum hassle.

You won’t be around to see any of this happen but losing a loved one is stressful. Choosing the right executors will give your family an easier time when they’re grieving.

When a professional executor might be the right choice

Being an executor isn’t rocket science for a straight forward estate, and your family can often get on and do it. However, at times, it can be kinder to choose a professional executor to work alongside or instead of your family. This is particularly true if you’ve done something controversial in your will, for example, leaving someone out. A professional can take emotion out of the equation and explain things clearly.

If one of your executors doesn’t want to work with the other, they can nominate a professional instead.  For one professional to act all the executors have to agree on the chosen person. They could also choose their own. That could either mean that a professional must work with a challenging co-executor or another professional appointed by the other executor.  This will result in  your estate paying extra costs, meaning that there’s less left over to go to your beneficiaries.

Do you need to write your will and choose the right people to make sure your wishes are carried out? We can help. Get in touch using the form below or call us on 0116 380 0752.

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