Choosing a Professional Executor
Anyone who makes a Will must appoint an Executor, and many choose a close friend or family member. But, remember, the role of an Executor carries significant responsibility and risk. So, before you decide, consider the benefits of choosing a professional.
Key benefits include the following:
1. Less Stress & Risk
Acting as an Executor can sometimes be too much for a grieving friend or family member. It’s a time-consuming process and carries considerable responsibility. If an Estate is not dealt with correctly, Executors are personally liable for any claims bought against the Estate. So, appointing a professional Executor removes personal liability and creates less stress for those close to you.
2. Specialist Knowledge
Handling a deceased person’s Estate can be complex. Their tax affairs, property and investments must be considered when administering the Estate. Specialist lawyers and professional Executors handle these things daily – efficiently and without unnecessary delay.
3. Guaranteed Continuity
Choosing a friend or family member as an Executor does not automatically guarantee that they will be able (or willing) to act at the time of your death. If they are reluctant, the Non-contentious Probate Rules govern who acts as your representative. This could result in someone you would not want in the role. Appointing a professional Executor from the outset will ensure there will always be someone suitable to step in and accept the position when the time comes.
4. Fair & Impartial
Sadly family disputes aren’t uncommon and can cause issues in the administration of an Estate. Choosing a professional Executor provides impartiality and fairness. They must ensure they are objective.
It may seem cheaper to appoint a family member or friend. However, given the complexities of administering an Estate, bereaved families often defer to a professional. So, ultimately, the cost difference is neutral.
It’s also a common misconception that solicitors will apply an uplift to Estates of a higher value. The Solicitors Regulation Authority does not allow this. Any fee charged will reflect the complexity and responsibility involved in each case.
Please note that all views, comments or opinions expressed are for information only and do not constitute and should not be interpreted as being comprehensive or as giving legal advice. No one should seek to rely or act upon, or refrain from acting upon, the views, comments or opinions expressed herein without first obtaining specialist, professional or independent advice. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, Curtis Parkinson cannot be held liable for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies.