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Q: What happens if you go to make a Will but don't have anyone (either willing or who you trust) to administer your estate? Do you have to nominate a solicitor?
A: You must appoint an executor for your Will to be valid. So if you are having trouble choosing the right person for the task, consider the following three questions:
1. Who are the trusted people in your life?
The person best suited to be your executor may not always be the most obvious person. Have a think about who would be best suited to the responsibility.
You might find it helpful to read our blog post Executor of a Will: 7 warning signs you’re choosing the wrong person.
You can also read more about what’s involved in our article 12 common executor of a Will duties.
2. Are you open to a professional executor?
If you have given it some thought and there is nobody you consider suitable to appoint as executor of your Will, you may wish to appoint a professional executor. A trusted professional, such as a lawyer or an accountant, might be the solution to administering your estate.
Before making the decision, it is important to speak with your lawyer (or your chosen professional) first to understand if they would be willing to act in this role. It is common to find that your solicitor’s law firm would be appointed as your executor rather than your specific lawyer in their personal capacity. This can be beneficial if unexpected circumstances arise, such as your lawyer stopping work at that firm or changing roles, which may impact their ability to act as your executor.
3. Is a public trustee the most appropriate solution?
There are some people that decide to appoint the Public Trustee as executor of their Will, rather than a lawyer. For example, in Victoria, this would be the State Trustees.
If you are considering the Public Trustee option, it is important to make sure you visit the relevant website and obtain as much information as possible.
There are often fees associated with the Public Trustee acting in this role, so ensure you take those into consideration.
To learn more, visit the Bare Law website or chat with our estate team for a free consultation, on 1800 959 371.
This article is not legal advice. You should speak with your solicitor or accountant for specific advice on your personal or financial situation.