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What is an Executor?

The role of executor is an important one. Your executor is the person (or persons if a joint appointment) to whom you entrust the task of carrying out your last wishes.

Before making your will, you should discuss the roles and responsibilities of being an executor with your chosen person to ensure they fully understand and accept the appointment. You should also tell the person where the will document will be kept.

With the will, keep all the information your executor is likely to need to carry out your last wishes, such as your bank account details, your titles, and the contact details of your accountant and lawyer — anything that will help them find all the valuables and assets that make up your estate.

The tasks an executor may be required to undertake include arranging your funeral obtaining grant of probate selling some or all of your assets to finalise the value of your estate collecting any debts and possessions owing to your estate identifying and paying any debts, including any tax liabilities distributing the remainder of your estate according to your will.

Can I appoint a solicitor as my executor?

You may want to appoint a solicitor or trustee company to be your executor or joint executor with a family member or friend. A solicitor will charge a fee based on the time spent dealing with your estate, plus any out of pocket expenses. A trustee company can charge up to 5.5% of the value of the estate, plus expenses. However, this may be negotiable, depending on the estate’s value and the amount of work involved.

Next Section: Can I change my will?