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Wills and Probate: Choosing an Executor

January 27, 2018  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

wills and probate solicitor Thames Valley

One of the most important parts of making a will is appointing an executor who you trust to manage your affairs after you’re gone. This is a big decision and your first step should be to speak to an experienced solicitor about drawing up a will, making probate arrangements, and organising lasting powers of attorney (LPA).

To help you, here’s some advice on what an executor’s responsibilities are and how to choose the right person from the expert family law solicitors at Frances Lindsay & Co:

What does an executor do?

An executor is somebody you appoint to handle the arrangements and wishes you’ve set down in your will. This might include:

  • Distributing assets and possessions to your chosen heirs and beneficiaries
  • Managing the sale of property
  • Settling of debts and bills, and contacting insurance providers
  • Carrying out any specific instructions related to your affairs or requests for your funeral
  • Ensure that any dependents are taken care of, according to your wishes
  • Allotting donations to charities or organisations of your choice
  • Dealing with any other probate arrangements as necessary
  • Paying legal fees on your behalf

Why do I need an executor?

When you make a will it’s necessary to appoint somebody you trust to handle financial issues, deal with the distribution of your estate, and manage legal affairs. You can make things as straightforward as possible by drawing up a professional will with an experienced solicitor, and providing details of who you wish to bequeath your assets to, and how you’d like your affairs to be managed.

There are many things to consider when making a will and arranging probate or lasting powers of attorney, and appointing a trusted executor (or executors) can help to put your mind at rest that your loved ones will be looked after and your wishes adhered to after you’re gone.

In addition, if you choose to set up lasting powers of attorney – often regarded as a ‘living will’ – you will be able to appoint an executor to follow your instructions and manage your care and finances should you find yourself unable to do so in the future, for example if you are involved in an accident, become ill, or are otherwise mentally or physically incapacitated.

Who can I appoint as an executor?

Most people choose a family member, friend, or their solicitor to handle their will and probate. An executor needs to be someone you trust and have faith in their ability to manage financial and legal issues.

If you’d rather your family didn’t have to deal with the additional stresses of legal administration at such a difficult time, it might be better to appoint your solicitor to be your executor, as they will have the knowledge and experience to manage your affairs and can minimise the responsibilities of your loved ones.

The main requirements for an executor are that they are over 18 years of age, and are somebody you trust.

Looking after your future

Having an up-to-date will can help to secure the future of your family, and ensure that you are all looked after should the unthinkable happen. By appointing a competent and trusted executor, you can rest assured that your affairs will be taken care of.

To speak to a family law solicitor about wills and probate, or to make arrangements for your future with lasting powers of attorney, get in touch with us at Frances Lindsay & Co. We offer fixed-fees on many of our services, and help to take the weight off your shoulders when it comes to legal issues. Visit us at our Beaconsfield or Maidenhead offices, or book an appointment at our London meeting rooms. We cover the whole of the Thames Valley, including Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross, Henley, Maidenhead, Marlow, and Windsor.

 

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