professional executors explained
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, instead a professional executor could be more suitable.
Why choose a professional executor?
Choosing a professional executor to administer your estate has many benefits, some of these 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 change 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.
It is clear that there are many benefits to using a professional executor and it is nothing to be scared of. Your family or friends won’t be offended that you haven’t chosen them and instead they may be relieved that they don’t have to do all the work themselves!
What our client’s say:
“Dagmara took all the stress and strain of sorting wills and probate at what was a difficult time. We couldn’t have done it without her. Excellent”. Clare Dragisic
To see more client testimonials please click here
We were appointed as professional executor for a client, who had no friends or family she wanted, or could, look after her affairs following her death. The firm was notified that our details were in her personal effects and, after searching our wills database, we were able to locate the will and take all the necessary steps. This included arranging her funeral, clearing her home, establishing the extent of her estate, notifying all relevant authorities of her passing, selling her home and distributing her estate to her chosen charities.
The Private Client Services Team
Dagmara Kulczykowska Partner
Private Client Services 01908 689341Dagmara is Head of the Department and has many years of experience in all aspects of private client work. Dagmara’s strengths are working with families on very sensitive and emotive matters, providing them with specialist legal advice. She ensures clients are supported but also advised clearly and comprehensively on the legal issue(s) at hand so that they can make an informed decision.
Karen Ward Senior Private Client Executive
Private Client Services 01908 689374Karen is a Senior Private Client Executive and Fellow of the Institute of Paralegals. Karen joined Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors in October 2018 having worked in the Private Client sector since 1997 for solicitors and banking institutions.