Over the course of the last few weeks, we have been discussing a highly important aspect of your will: your executor. Welcome to the final post in this series about executors! If you are only joining us now, we strongly recommend that you start reading from post 1 and continue in order so that this all makes sense. If you have missed any other of the posts, then access posts 2, 3 and 4 respectively by clicking on the number.
In this post, we will be helping you figure out how to choose the best person for the job. We will answer your question, who is the best person to nominate as my executor? We will provide you with factors to consider that will hopefully help you make the correct decision. Remember, if at any point in the process you feel that you need advice, you can contact Gunstons at [email protected].
Who is the best person to nominate as my executor? Spouse, family member, friend?
If you are contemplating nominating a spouse, family member or friend to be your executor, then you need to consider the following:
- Willingness. Before you nominate the person as your executor, ask that person if he or she would actually be willing to be your executor. If, after you pass on, the person nominated does not want to be executor and you have not nominated an alternative executor, your next of kin must nominate an executor. This potentially opens the process to delays and disputes.
- Age and health. Choose someone who is likely not to die before you.
- Possibility of emigration. Consider whether your potential executor is likely to emigrate in the foreseeable future. A person who has emigrated might not be in a position to fulfil the role of executor.
- Marital status. Do not nominate your spouse as an executor if your marriage is already shaky and may not last. A former spouse is usually not an ideal executor for your estate.
- Honesty. You want to nominate someone you can trust (obviously). But the Master can refuse to appoint your nominee if he or she has been convicted of a crime that involves dishonesty (for example, fraud) or certain other crimes.
- Time available. You need to consider whether the person you nominate has enough time to commit to carrying out the duties of an executor. The process can in some cases be very long winded.
- Financial savvy. Choose someone who understands and is efficient with finances and who is able to meet with the necessary financial institutions.
- Negotiation skills. During the winding up process there will be various beneficiaries with differing interests. Your executor needs to be someone who can negotiate with beneficiaries, encourage them to compromise with one another and prevent discord.
Who is the best person to nominate as my executor? Professional person or company?
If you are contemplating nominating a professional person or a company to be your executor, then you need to consider the following:
- Fisa accreditation. If your potential nominee is a member of Fisa, you will be able to take a complaint to the institute.
- Qualifications and ability. You want to make sure that the person or company you nominate as your executor has the necessary expertise and sufficient experience so as properly to deal with your estate.
- Service. When dealing with a professional person or company, it is important to be aware of and outline exactly what that person or company will do for your family after you pass on. You do not want an executor who leaves your family with so much to do themselves that it places undue stress on your family.
With these factors, you can start to consider who would be the best person to be your executor. Similarly, you can also start to understand who not to nominate. This list is not exhaustive of everything you should consider, though. If you require any further advice or assistance in writing a will or nominating an executor, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. If you have enjoyed this series please subscribe to our blog as we will be bringing you more valuable content regularly!