Wills - the reasons for an Executor

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Disco, Mar 21, 2005.

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  1. Currently I am in a heated debate regarding Executors in a will. My spouse believes we dont need one, however I beg to differ.

    I know the roles of an Executor and that is why we require one but the better half says that she could do this herself. I believe she could but why add on to the strain of grief the duties of arranging the funeral, accrueing the estate and closing down accounts etc.

    I believe our joint account would be frozen upon my death and it will be the executor who could have this sorted faster than if one was not appointed. The bank may not react fast enough to someone who has not been duly appointed regardless of relation to the deceased.

    Also grief does strange things to people so relatives may act out of person and any property that would require selling and sharing could get real sticky (ie they are not prepared to see it sold, or decide to move in etc) An executor would carry out the wishes regardless of any family bickering or acts out of character.

    The main concern with executors in my eyes is using a professional such as a solicitor who will recover his fees from the estate, im not really sure on what the "going rate" is and wheter they use fixed fees etc.

    Also knowing a solid friend (or proffesional) is my executor gives me peace of mind that the job will get done.

    Do you believe it is important to have an executor of your will and what are your reasons either way.

    Im interested to find out!
  2. Great that was the extra angle I needed, the "Double Jeapordy"

  3. Disco, you really need to speak to a solicitor about all this. Forgive me if I'm teaching you to suck eggs and you have already been through this loop, but wills and so on are full of little quirks.

    Your will and the problems that surround it will be routine business for a trained lawyer and very few will balk at telling you in advance what the advice is likely to cost. Same applies to them being executor. My guess would be a few hundred pounds for most simple estates. Unless you are a pauper, this is money well spent. Ask around to see if anyone has had good service from a particular firm. Don't let the bank do it, because their teeth tend to meet in a percentage-of-the-estate sort of way.

    I have executed a couple of wills and it is a tedious, painstaking, time consuming process - but it is even worse if the will is inadequately drafted or there isn't one at all.
  4. .

    Tell me about it mate...I am currently dealing with a case here in Spain where a married British couple died (RTA)..leaving everything to each other(with no provision for their simultaneous deaths).....and am now trying to prove ( to the Spanish judiciary)that an 80 year old auntie in the middle of the Australian outback is the sole heir to their Spanish estate....Easy!!! (NOT)
  5. Not if she's dead she wont.

    If no Executor is appointed in a will, I understand that one will be appointed anyway - this will not only incur expense but result in having some faceless firm acting.
  6. Disco

    Much sensible advice above.

    I wouldn't necessarily draw the conclusion that no competent spouse or other relative can ever attempt the administration themselves.

    In my limited experience, the emotional turmoil involved can make it surprisingly difficult to deal with objectively straightforward procedures, but spouses can be more organised than other surviving relatives. Other things being equal, a surviving spouse can have the advantage over other lay executors of a better grip on the deceased's affairs, and a more immediate motive for sorting things out.

    There is also nothing to prevent the spouse executor from appointing a solicitor to carry out the administration on their behalf. I agree this is leaving it up to them, rather than the person making the will.

    The possibility of a spouse executor dying around the same time can, I imagine, be catered for by naming an alternative executor such as a solicitor.

    I entirely agree the default setting is to use a solicitor for the administration at least.

    As suggested by Vasco, the key thing I think is to consult a solicitor now and then have them draw up the will, once you have decided which way to go. Unlikely to be expensive and you get a quote before you start.
  7. Further info on wills: http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn/Forums/viewtopic/t=1201.html.

    I strongly advise against drawing one up yourself. Just because the CDs and booklets exist, it doesn't mean they will be sufficient for you to DIY. If your circumstances are straightforward then you shouldn't have to pay a solicitor much to draw up a will for you.
  8. Many thanks all, your advice has provided the insight I needed.

  9. In addition to having a professional firm sort out the administrative details, it's always useful to have a close friend who knows your general wishes. In this case if something unforeseen does occur, he or she will be able to resolve it far more quickly and as you would want it.

    Depressing business but it's got to be done.