Who would you choose as the executor of your Will?

Did that question make you stop and think? It’s one we ask when helping people with their estate planning, because it’s an essential role and requires a lot of thought. 

Who is the person that you trust enough to stand in front of a group of people, speak on your behalf and ensure your wishes are carried out the way you had planned?  Even if that room has people that disagree with your decisions!

The person you nominate as the executor of your Will does not have to do all the work.  They can engage your solicitor and Paxton Bridge, as your financial advisor, but they need to be someone you trust with the authority to sign off and provide direction on adhering to your wishes.

For many people, taking on the role of an executor is a “once-off” rather than something they do every day.  Therefore, they should be proactive in seeking support from your trusted specialists and advisors.

To help make the best choice for your circumstances, it’s important to understand the role of the executor. 

Some of the tasks that an executor may be required to perform, in conjunction with your advisors are:

  • Locating the Will and filing it with the appropriate court for approval to begin the role as executor.
  • Identifying and valuing your assets and debts.
  • Notifying beneficiaries named in the Will, as well as any creditors or other interested parties.
  • Paying off any debts or outstanding expenses using the assets of the estate.
  • Distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries as directed in the Will.
  • Filing tax returns if required.
  • Closing out any accounts or contracts that were in your name.
  • Keeping accurate records of all financial transactions and activities related to the estate.

Your executor should be someone you trust and who is available to act on your behalf after you pass away. For example, if you have chosen someone in the past who is now older and with possible health issues, they may be unable to cope with the demands of the role – especially if they are family and could also be overwhelmed with emotion from your passing.

Developing your estate plan requires you to make some important decisions. When did you last review your estate plan and is your choice of executor still appropriate for your situation?

Reach out if you need help in reviewing your estate plan.  

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