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To avoid disputes, choose Executors of your Will wisely

When making a Will, as well as considering which family members you would like to give a legacy to, you should also give careful thought to who you appoint as your Executor or Executors.  Some of the issues to consider are:

Will the Executors be able to act together or will they argue, for instance when deciding whether to sell an asset for a suggested price?

Executors need to be able to make decisions about finances for the benefit of the Estate as a whole and not just based on what they want to achieve for themselves.  If they act in their own interests, they might face court proceedings for failing to comply with their legal duties.

Will the Executors have enough time and knowledge to deal with the Estate as required by the Will?

Executors need to keep careful and thorough records; otherwise disputes can arise if anomalies are found in the Estate Accounts.

Will any of the beneficiaries cause problems for a particular Executor (or vice versa) due to existing family tensions?

A neutral friend could be appointed to act, but being an Executor can be time-consuming and it might be unreasonable to expect a friend to act as Executor when they don’t benefit from the Will and cannot charge for their time.  Instead, you could consider if it would be better to appoint a professional to act, such as a solicitor.

If you are an Executor dealing with an Estate in dispute or a beneficiary concerned about the conduct of an Executor please contact a member of our team on our enquiry form or by calling 0345 671 0276.

Stephanie Kerr, Disputes & Litigation Solicitor