If you’re getting organised with estate planning, you may be wondering 'who to choose as Executor of my Will'. Here are some tips to help you select the right Executor for your estate.
What do Executors of a Will do?
Before you begin to consider who to choose as Executor of your Will, let’s understand what's involved.
An Executor is responsible for managing the administration of the deceased estate and distributing the assets to beneficiaries in accordance with the Will. Executor of a Will duties also include arranging and paying for the funeral and other estate expenses.
It’s an important role in the estate administration process. So, while estate planning, take the time to consider someone who will act with your best interests in mind, when the time comes.
How many Executors should I choose?
You may either choose a single Executor, or multiple people to act together. Joint Executors cannot make a decision without the other’s knowledge.
Who should I choose as Executor of my Will?
While considering who to choose as Executor during the estate planning process, consider someone who is aged 18 years or above. The person, or people, you decide on are entirely your choice. Also, consider someone you can trust.
People generally nominate their spouse, sibling, an adult child, or some other close family member or friend. Others choose a solicitor, however, it is not necessary to hold any professional qualifications.
Other considerations when choosing an Executor include: a person’s organisation skills, ability to manage details, their knowledge of all beneficiaries’ whereabouts and their travel time to the beneficiaries. If the person you choose moves to another country, it may be easier to write a new Will that nominates a different person to perform the task.
Who can’t I choose as Executor of my Will?
Your Executor cannot be a witness to the signing of the Will, however they can be a beneficiary, providing they are 18 years of age or older. They must also be willing to take on the task.
Often the person inheriting the greatest share is nominated, unless the beneficiary is a minor at the time of your death. However, choosing an older person could also be problematic as you should not nominate someone who is likely to predecease you (die before you). Age and health should always be considered.
Can the Executor be changed after death?
An Executor can be changed if they wish to withdraw from their duties - either before the testator (will-maker) has died, or afterwards. If they wish to withdraw before you die, you must make a new Will that names someone else.
If the Executor elects to withdraw after you die, they must write a letter of renunciation and lodge it with their local Probate Office. If there is nobody appointed, the Probate Court will assign one to the deceased estate.
To learn more, visit the Bare Law website or chat with our estate team for a free consultation, on (03) 9917 3388.
This article is not legal advice. You should speak with your solicitor or accountant for specific advice on your personal or financial situation.