Why choose a Professional Executor?
When making a Will one of the decisions you need to make is who to appoint as the executor or executors. This role is often an afterthought as most people making a Will will primarily be thinking about who gets what in their Will and not who is going to do all the administration work. Dagmara Kulczykowska, Private Client Services Partner explains the benefits of choosing a professional executor.
What is an executor?
An executor is the person with legal responsibility who deals with all the administration work involved in ensuring that the wishes in your Will are fulfilled and that the beneficiaries receive what they are entitled to.
Often a husband, wife, son or daughter are chosen for this role, but is this the best appointment?
Whilst family and friends are usually very happy to act as an executor it can be a burden at a time when they are grieving and may not be thinking straight.
Choosing a professional executor to administer your estate has many benefits, some of these benefits are:-
A professional executor knows what they are doing! They don’t need to trawl through the internet working out what they are supposed to do or what forms they are supposed to fill in. A professional executor will have the legal knowledge and expertise to deal with your estate efficiently, quickly and most importantly correctly.
Family member and friends will not always get on with each other especially when dealing with an estate of a close loved one, which can be very emotive. Sometimes the emotional involvement masks what is legally the correct course of action. Family tensions following a bereavement can lead to the estate not being dealt with correctly or timely. A professional executor can ensure that all matters are dealt with impartially and in the best interests of the estate and the beneficiaries.
Family and friends are already under a lot of strain and pressure following the death of a loved one. The responsibility dealing with the legal process can often be too much, which can lead to the estate not being dealt with at all. All too often I have family calling me years after a death saying that they couldn’t face dealing with probate any earlier! A professional executor will relieve the family and friends of the burden of dealing with the legal process.
- Prevents a Will with no executor
If an executor appointed in your Will dies before you but you forget to change our Will, your estate will be left without an executor! This leads to problems and delays in administering your estate. Appointing a firm to act as a professional executor means that this will never happen as there will always be someone able to step into the role of executor.
Very often I am asked how much will it cost for my firm to act as a professional executor. The answer is that we don’t charge anything extra for being a professional executor. We charge for the work we do, which is the same charge as a family member or friend being appointed as an executor but then asking us to handle the estate on their behalf (because they can’t handle it themselves). The added benefit is that we know what we are doing so we can just get on with it! You and your loved ones can rest assured that the estate will be dealt with correctly and efficiently. It can be more economical for a professional executor to deal with your estate than a family member or friend who then instructs a solicitor to help them.
Don’t be scared of a professional executor and don’t think that your family or friends will be offended you haven’t chosen them. They may be relieved that they don’t have to do all the work themselves.