Why do you need an Executor of your Will and what do they do?

Updated: Jan 17

We get a lot of questions surrounding Executors from our clients. "Do I need one? Who do I appoint? What do they actually do?” So we thought we’d write a blog post to help clear things up.

An Executor is the person/s that you appoint to be responsible for your estate after you have passed away. Your estate is anything that you owned such as money, cars, a house, valuable possessions etc. Executors have a legal responsibility to carry out your wishes and instructions left in your Will.

What do Executors do?

They have a whole host of responsibilities. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Follow specific instructions e.g. if you want to be buried or cremated

  • Collect all of your assets

  • Ensure your assets are distributed correctly to your beneficiaries (those who are named in your Will)

  • Identify the beneficiaries

  • Resolve any disputes that arise

  • Close your bank accounts

  • Ensure necessary taxes are paid

  • Deal with funeral costs

  • Settle any outstanding debts

Who should you appoint?

As you can tell, being an Executor is an important role with lots of responsibilities so it's vital that you appoint someone you trust. You can name anyone as an Executor of your Will as long as they are over 18. A lot of people appoint someone close to them such as a partner or children, however you can also choose a professional such as an Accountant or Estate Planner.

How many Executors can you appoint?

You can have up to four Executors, although having this many can cause confusion. It is however, recommended to have at least two to cover you in the event that one dies before you do. It is useful to have a chat with those you’re considering appointing as an Executor so that you can explain what the role is, but you can write a Will without doing so first.

Are you thinking about writing your Will? Get in touch with Kindred today and see how we can help.