When making a Will, choosing the right Executor is an important decision. The duties of an Executor can be difficult, demanding and time consuming. In most cases, an Executor will require legal or other professional representation, which involves costs and liabilities to the estate.
The chosen Executor should be aware of the legal responsibilities and have some understanding of accounting, business practices and taxation matters - particularly where capital gains tax is applicable. They should also understand that they are financially liable for any mistakes they make in their administration of your estate.
Family conflict can often come into play when administering an estate, resulting in accusations of favouritism towards some beneficiaries over others.
This adds unnecessary pressure on the Executor (especially if it is a close friend or family member) which could result in questionable judgements, especially during a period of grief.
For these reasons, people are increasingly choosing 'professional' Executors such as trustee companies, solicitors or accountants to spare loved ones these onerous responsibilities and undue emotional stress at a difficult time.
If you are appointed as Executor or Administrator, it is possible to renounce your role and hand it over to another individual or company.
Last updated: 11-Feb-2016
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