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Tips for selecting Will executors

Karen Yates, solicitor in the Wills & Estate Planning team at regional law firm Napthens, reports that there can be confusion as to who can be the executor of a Will.

The executor is a person named in a will who has the legal responsibility to make sure the wishes of the deceased are carried out – this can include distributing the estate and paying bills and taxes.

Karen explained that executors do not necessarily have to be solicitors or banks, but they should be aware of their role and the serious responsibilities it brings.

She said: “The traditional approach is certainly to appoint a solicitor or perhaps a bank as the executor of a Will, but legally this is not compulsory.

“Beneficiaries – people benefiting from the Will – can be executors, and often a good starting point is to select adult children, as long as they are suitable. Executors must be over 18 and financially responsible as it is a significant role to play.

“Because of this, executors should know their own limitations – what they can do and what they should take advice on. If a child isn’t the most appropriate person, they don’t have to be appointed.

“There can be some guilt about not appointing an adult child as executor, but in reality it’s best to choose the most qualified person, whoever that might be.

“There is also important information to be aware of when carrying out someone’s wishes, too. For instance, a minor who is inheriting money will need their share investing in some way, so advice should be taken about the best options.”

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact a specialist member of the Wills & Estate planning team.

Karen Yates, Probate Solicitor