We know death isn’t quite the right topic for a cosy afternoon discussion. It is, however, an important one. You might be familiar with the mental and emotional distress the death of a loved one can cause. You might have even held a close friend’s hand through the five stages of grief. But are you aware of the financial challenges it poses?
Simply put, everything costs money. 💷 Even death. Funeral arrangements, medical bills, and taking care of the estate left behind by the deceased are all tasks that take up a sizable amount of your time and money. Life insurance payouts and assets left behind in the will can give your loved ones the financial support they need when you die. But who exactly handles this money? Can you legally entrust a person (of your choosing) with this responsibility? Absolutely! 👍 Keep reading to find out how.
What is an executor?
Despite what the term suggests, it is not the name of a comic book anti-hero (you could be thinking of The Punisher 💀). The executor of an estate is the person appointed to manage assets as per the instructions left in the deceased person’s will. In simple terms, it is the person who ensures everything happens just how you want after you die.
This person is responsible (and we mean legally) for making sure all the assets in your will are accounted for. They then distribute these assets to the beneficiaries, as mentioned in the will. In general, the executor of your will is legally obliged to act in your interest. ✅
There are no restrictions on who can be the executor of your estate apart from that they should be a British citizen over the age of 18. But is that the only criterion you need to have in mind while picking an executor? Surely not. ❌ Picking an executor is an important decision you are advised to take after considering all possible factors.
Factors to consider while picking an executor 🤔
The size or complexity of your estate.
The executor is expected to do more than just read out your will and disperse the assets to everyone in the room. They are essentially stepping in as the deceased (in this case, you 😕) to make all the legal arrangements. They are responsible for conducting a fair valuation of your assets and then legally transferring them to your next of kin. Depending, it could be better to have lawyers, accountants, or other experienced people as the executors of a large estate.
The time commitment
Being an executor can be a strenuous job. It may even require the person to be at your family’s (and lawyer’s) beck and call. The legal consultation and planning before actually distributing your assets can take weeks, sometimes even months. 📅 Further, the executor needs to take care of other responsibilities like arranging your funeral, fulfilling any last wishes, etc. It is better to choose a person who can be available when the time comes.
It’s not uncommon to name a co-executor
While wills don’t expire, they can, however, get less relevant over time. This means that some wills can be over 40 years old when they are finally probated. In such cases, the executor is usually way past the age where they can carry on their duties efficiently. Naming a co-executor can help you avoid this. Think of someone who is perhaps younger than you or likely to outlive you. U.K laws make it possible to include will clauses that appoint conditional executors to your estate.
How they’ll feel after your death
The executor needs to be mentally and emotionally capable of fulfilling their duties after your death. While grief and trauma are both warranted, the executor is expected to be the person who ties it all together. They are solely responsible for making important decisions that directly concern your family and other loved ones. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a person who is expected to do this difficult task well during a tragic time.
Choosing an executor
Choosing an executor for your estate is an important decision. We recommend you spend time weighing out all options before you make a choice. We offer hassle-free, efficient, and reliable will-making services that make the process of naming an executor easier for you. Or, if you don’t know who to choose right now, you can choose JPEP as your professional executor. This can also be changed at any time.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to email us at email@example.com 👈