Appointing an executor

Appointing an executor

Whether you are updating or creating a Will, designating an executor is not an easy decision.

The role of executor requires a great deal of commitment. The executor of a Will holds the responsibility of administering your estate and ensuring your wishes are carried out in a time-efficient manner.

When choosing an executor, a Will Maker must consider who is best to take on the role and associated responsibilities. The Will Maker must consider whether the executor has the necessary skills to administer the estate, whether naming a person as executor will place an extra burden on them in a time of grief and if the person nominated is likely to cause conflict between them and beneficiaries.

There can be more than one person nominated as executor for the Will. In many situations, the executor(s) can also be a beneficiary of the estate.

Some of the immediate responsibilities of an executor include arranging the funeral, requesting and obtaining the death certificate, finding the original copy of the Will and beginning to protect and insure assets ­such as changing locks on a property and photographing expensive assets.

The executor is also responsible for obtaining probate, collecting any debts or investment income, claiming life insurance, selling assets, preparing tax returns and distributing the remainder on the estate. The full administration of a deceased estate can take up to a year.

Due to the large amount of responsibilities, it is best to discuss the role of executor with the intended person(s) before you nominate them in your Will. They should be made aware that they will be financially liable for any mistakes made when administering the estate. The nominated executor(s) should also be informed of where your Will is kept.