When making a Will, deciding who to appoint as an executor is extremely important. The executor is the person or organisation responsible for dealing with the administration and distribution of the estate in accordance with the law and the provisions of the Will.
Fees often deter people from appointing professional executors, however appointing a professional executor far outweigh the potential costs involved. If the estate is complex, choosing a professional executor to administer the estate can avoid costly mistakes and delays. An executor can face a significant amount of risk, since they may be held personally liable for any financial loss arising from negligence, even if this was unintentional. It is important to ensure the right decision is made when appointing an executor.
There are many benefits in having a professional executor dealing with the administration of your estate, for example:-
- Competence and Expertise when ascertaining the value of the estate; reporting to HMRC and the Probate Registry appropriately and ensuring liabilities are settled and assets distributed properly. Expertise is also essential when managing complex issues such as inheritance tax, capital gains and income tax.
- Impartiality in circumstances where there may be disputes between beneficiaries or executors or even between executors and beneficiaries.
- Protecting family and friends at a difficult and emotional time.
Professional executors can support family and friends who have been appointed by the Will to act jointly with them or as a substitute executor. A substitute executor will usually step forward when family or friends are unable or prefer not to act. If there is no executor to act in these circumstances, then there are rules which set out who is entitled to act as a Personal Representative. In some cases, this responsibility may fall to someone who you would not want to administer your estate. If that person were then to act inappropriately and not in the best interests of the beneficiaries, or delay administering the estate, the process of removing a Personal Representative can be lengthy, costly and distressing for all of those involved.
The appointment of a professional executor can reduce costs since the professional will ensure tax liability is kept to a minimum and reduce the risk of errors or litigation which could end up with even more costs. Executors should be able to act responsibly, impartially and with expertise and diligence. These are all standards regulated by the professional bodies and regulators of the professional executors. Moore Barlow has a team of experts who are able to support and advise your family and friends at a difficult time and who can deal with the administration in a proper and timely manner so that your assets are then distributed in accordance with the provisions of the Will. To avoid potentially difficult situations, it is important to make intentions regarding the administration and distribution of an estate clear, and to put them into effect in the form of a valid Will, as soon as possible. If you would like to discuss preparing a Will and the benefits of appointing professional executors please contact