Choosing Your Executor
Choosing your executor is one of the most important decisions you have to make when writing your will. So, how do you choose an executor?
What does the executor do?
Firstly it's important to understand what an executor does. Your executor is the person or people who make sure all your wishes are carried out after you're gone. They are firstly responsible for filing the necessary paperwork for administration or applying for a ‘Grant of Probate’ in the Supreme Court so that they can carry out your will. After that, your executor is responsible for carrying out your wishes in your will.
Your executor must pay all your debts and deal with any outstanding matters which will need to be finalised after your passing. This may include settling tax debts, closing accounts and selling off any assets if required. Have a look at our assets and debts blog post to learn more.
After all debts are paid, your executor will be responsible for distributing the rest of your estate to your beneficiaries. Your beneficiaries are the people you name in your will that you want to leave something to. However, this isn't as easy as it seems. The executor will have to follow the proper processes for transferring specific assets so that each person gets clear ownership.
Who should be your executor?
As you can see, the role of an executor is not easy. You will have to consider whether your executor will have the time and ability to deal with your estate. You will also have to consider whether your executor will be able to deal with the stress and responsibility to handle such an important role. It's very common to appoint a responsible relative.
Once you have decided who your executor will be, there is only one thing left to do. Tell them!
It is very important to discuss your choice with your executor because your executor may choose not to accept the role. They are able to decline and many do so after it is too late. If this happens, your wishes might not be carried out how you want. The executor of your will is a very important role and a choice not to be made lightly. Make sure you discuss the role with them carefully and consider whether two executors are better than one.
It’s easy to start making your will now.