30 Nov 2023
07 Jul 2021
It depends on whether you have made a Will.
Let’s look at what happens if there is no Will. In this case, the law (not you!) decides who inherits your assets. This may not be who you expect, but whoever it is can apply to the Court for a grant of Letters of Administration to deal with your estate.
Where there is a Will it usually names one or more executors. Executors have the right to deal with the affairs of the deceased person. They can (but do not have to) be a solicitor. They can be family or friends and even a beneficiary can be an executor. However, there is a heavy burden placed on an executor and a personal responsibility to see the job through. It makes choosing an executor an especially important choice. I have a few points to consider when deciding who you want to act:
- An executor should be someone that you trust absolutely to follow your wishes, and follow the complex law governing the administration of an estate. There is a great deal of responsibility, and even more power. There are regular stories in the press about unscrupulous executors acting less than honestly in their dealings.
- In acting, an executor will need to separate their own self-interest from the best interests of the estate. This is something that family members can sometimes find difficult – especially where, say, only two of three children are appointed. Care should be taken to ensure that the working relationship between them will allow for things to be dealt with efficiently.
- Many couples appoint only the survivor, without a ‘plan B’. If one spouse dies, the other may be too upset or may be too ill to deal with matters. I would suggest always considering another person to act – just in case.
Often, I am asked whether I can act as an executor. Yes, I can and often do if the circumstances mean that it is right. The appointment of an executor is perhaps one of the most important aspects of Will-making, meaning that receiving expert advice is an absolute must.
Here at Rubin Lewis O’Brien, we listen to what you want to achieve, we discuss your options, and we work with you to ensure that we find the right solution for you. Call us today on 01633 867000 or fill out this form.