Have you chosen your executors wisely?

Tom pettman portrait.

Tom Pettman


Phone 01264 325810

Email tpettman@bsandi.co.uk

The executor of a Will is a responsible position. The appointed person, or people (between two and four is recommended), will be tasked with putting into effect the terms of your Will, and so it is vital that you select people you trust. 

Family members are a standard choice. As relations, they should be expected to act honestly and responsibly when it comes to administering your estate; sharing out your assets and dealing with any debts. They should also have good knowledge of you and your circumstances, which can be helpful when there are important decisions to be made.

However, things don’t always run smoothly. We have been involved in a number of cases in which executors are unable to work together. They can’t agree on the right course of action, or they are unwilling to share the duties. This can be an extremely difficult situation to resolve, sometimes causing lasting damage to a family.

Consider this possibility when making your Will. Ask yourself not just whether the executors you are about to choose are reliable, but also whether they are likely to get on. Will they make a good team? Are there any doubts in your mind about this? Should you consider appointing a neutral, professional person to act as executor either alone or alongside family members?

Of course one of the difficulties is that the executors may seem the perfect choice at the time you make your Will, but then something changes – there is a family rift, for example. It is so important that your Will is kept up-to-date with any change of heart you might have about the gifts you intend to make. But it is also crucial to revisit your choice of executors, to ensure that the people you have appointed remain suitable. 

We advise clients not to think of their Will as written in stone. It is something to keep under review. It is easily changed as family and financial circumstances alter over the years. And, above all, remember that your Will is yours. That means that you need to be satisfied that it accurately reflects your position and your wishes – at any given moment in time.

For further advice on your specific circumstances, contact our Private Client team today who will be happy to help.  Tel: 01264 353411, email:  wills@bsandi.co.uk or complete our no obligation, online enquiry form and someone will contact you.

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