Executors are the individuals appointed under a Will who have the responsibility to deal with a person’s assets on their death. The choice of executors is therefore very important.
There are two options as to who to appoint as your executor:
- a close friend or family member; or
- an independent or professional executor such as a solicitor.
You can choose a combination of both types.
What are the advantages of appointing professional executors?
It removes the responsibility for the job from family and friends, particularly the surviving spouse or civil partner. It relieves friends and relatives of the duty at a time when they will be grieving.
In the event of any dispute or difficulties within a family, a professional executor can remain impartial and fair and ensure that the administration is carried out with objectivity.
By appointing the partners in a firm of solicitors, there is continuity and longevity of executors. There will always be someone suitable to accept the role. Furthermore, with professional executors there is also continuity where the Will results in a trust arising in favour of young beneficiaries for example.
Dealing with a deceased person’s estate has become more complex in recent years. Failure to deal with matters properly can lead to problems and potential penalties. A firm of solicitors has a high level of expertise in dealing with the administration of estates and this is reflected in the efficiency with which they can deal with matters. If you appoint a solicitor to deal with the administration of an estate then the responsibility of correctly dealing with the administration lies wit the solicitor, thus removing the considerable responsibility from family members.
Any professional executor will expect to be paid for the time they spend dealing with the estate, as well as reimbursement for expenses incurred.
It is a common misconception that solicitors apply an uplift or value element to their charges for dealing with the administration of an estate. The Solicitors Regulation Authority does allow solicitors to charge a fee based on a percentage of the value of the estate. Any fee is intended to reflect the complexity of the matter and the responsibility undertaken by the firm.
However, at Trethowans we very rarely charge an additional value element. We would only do so when a case has been especially complex. At Trethowans our charges are calculated by reference to the time spent on your behalf in doing a good job for you.