Who are your Executors?
There has been a lot in the news the past few weeks about banks essentially paying themselves up to £15,000 having appointed themselves as Executors in Wills that they have previously arranged for customers. Coupled with some solicitors triple charging clients’ Estates (an hourly rate, a percentage of the Estate plus a fixed fee combined is not unheard of) this has the potential to be the next financial scandal?
If you’ve got a current Will and your Executors are a professional, call them today and ask what their fees will be when you die. You may also want to ask why the charges weren’t explained when your will was written…
For the cost of rewriting your will you should find you can save your beneficiaries thousands by appointing “lay” executors.
Our suggestion to clients is that they appoint trusted family members or each other if making Mirror Wills, in the first instance. If the Executor feels is unable or unwilling to do any part of the work they can approach a professional of their choice to do that work for them, agreeing a fee with them at that time. I have first-hand examples where this has been 90% cheaper than the same firm doing the work where they are named as the executor in the will.
Having made the decision to appoint a lay executor there are still some things to consider when choosing who to use, including –
- Age and health- it is unwise to appoint an executor who is likely to predecease you.
- Location – there are practicalities in being an Executor such as securing the deceased’s property and registering the death.
- Time – full time working and children to care for may not allow for time to carry out the necessary arrangements.
- Capability – choosing your executor isn’t about flattery or being fair but about appointing those that are best for the job.
It is advisable to speak to your chosen Executors before you die and check they are prepared to act for you. Make it clear to them why you have chosen them and explain to them what their responsibilities are and their options for fulfilling them are when the time comes for them to act.