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  • Writer's pictureSam Jones

Do you know what a Will Executor does?

What do Executors do?

When we prepare your will for you, we will ask you who you would like to appoint as Executors. Anyone aged 18 or above can be an executor of your will. The Executor deals with the assets and will seek to distribute them, if they can, according to the provisions of the will.

Are Executors able to inherit in my will?

Yes, executor are able to inherit in your will.

How many Executors can I appoint in my will?

You can appoint as many executors as you like in your will.

However only four executors are able to receive the ‘Grant of Probate’ in respect of the same property. The ‘Grant of Probate’ is a legal document which confirms that the executor has the authority to deal with the deceased person's assets. Please see Kaye’s post titled ‘Do I really need a Grant of Probate?’ which outlines situations where executors do not need to apply for a Grant of Probate.

You may choose to have one Executor. If there are more than one executors, those acting executors must all agree and act together.

What if they do not want to be an executor after my death?

There is no need for every Executor to act. If an Executor you appoint does not want to be an Executor after your death they have two options.

First, they can take the step of renouncing their right to take the grant of probate. It is good practice to sign a witnessed deed of renunciation and the other Executors can lodge it with the Probate Office alongside their application for Grant of Probate. But the Executor must not have done anything they would have done as an Executor or personal representative. This can include, for example, notifying the bank of the death. If they do this, they would be treated as having accepted office and would have to take the grant.

If they do not want to renounce being an Executor but want to leave the tasks to the others, there is an alternative option. The other Executors can choose to obtain the grant of probate with “power reserved.” This means that the other Executors can obtain the grant of probate allowing them to deal with the administrative tasks and sign the documents and the other Executor does not have to do anything. But by reserving power the other Executor retains the right to prove the Will at a later stage.

If the Executor then decides to exercise their right to prove the will they can choose to make a separate application to the Probate Registry leading to a grant of double probate. If the administration of the estate reaches that stage, any documentation will need to be signed by all of the Executors.

If you have a complex or high value estate you may choose to appoint a professional executor such as your solicitor to be an executor. However if you decide not to, your Executors can decide to ask for specialist advice or help from a specialist solicitor or accountant themselves. In both scenarios any fee would be taken out of the estate as an administrative expense so the Executors would not be out of pocket.

If you are interested in making a Will with us, contact us today via phone or email.

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