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Who Should be the Executor of my Will?

Who Should Be My Will Executor?

Our Gold Coast estate lawyers frequently hear the question, “Who Should Be My Will Executor?” The answer is short: your executor should be someone you trust implicitly to carry out your wishes effectively

Who should be my will executor, QBM Lawyers

Responsibilities of an Executor

The role of an executor carries significant responsibilities and demands careful consideration. It is crucial that the will-maker trusts the chosen executor, especially if appointing only one. Executors must follow strict rules, such as keeping estate assets separate from personal finances. Monitoring an executor’s actions can be challenging, and any misconduct may go unnoticed until it causes harm. Moreover, the costs associated with challenging an executor’s decisions can be substantial.

Choosing an Executor

For couples, it’s common to name each other as executors and beneficiaries in their Wills. If one spouse passes away first, alternate executors and beneficiaries, such as children or other relatives, are often named.

Beyond spousal arrangements, executors can include close relatives, friends, or professionals like lawyers or accountants. However, choosing a professional executor may lead to extra expenses, as they charge professional rates for tasks including administrative duties such as funeral arrangements. Some professionals may also request an executor’s commission, which our Gold Coast estate lawyers consider unnecessary when professional fees are already applied.

Considerations for Non-Professional Executors

Choosing a family friend as executor is possible but needs careful thought. Being an executor can be demanding, possibly involving disputes over assets or personal items. It’s important to assess the likelihood of such conflicts and whether the chosen executor can manage them without undue stress.

Executors can receive compensation through commission, but disputes among beneficiaries can complicate matters. In these situations, the commission may not fully compensate the executor for their time and effort.

Who Should Be My Will Executor?

When clients ask us “Who should be the executor of my Will?”, we advise them to consider the following:

  • A Trusted Individual: If there is someone they trust implicitly, that person should ideally be their executor.
  • Professional Accountability: If no such person is available, appointing two professionals (not from the same firm) or a professional and a layperson can provide accountability, especially for professional conduct.

Considerations for Professional Executors

Choosing a professional executor, such as a lawyer or accountant, involves careful consideration due to potential cost and accountability issues:

  • Cost Assessments: Rules governing cost assessments for lawyers acting as executors are ineffective, as beneficiaries cannot compel these assessments.
  • Fee Caution: It’s crucial for will-makers to heed caution regarding fees for estate administration, particularly when lured by inexpensive or convenient services offered by lawyers visiting homes.
  • Avoiding Sole Professional Executors: We advise against appointing a sole executor who is a lawyer or other professional, especially if there’s minimal prior interaction.
Our Recommendation

To reduce risks, we recommend appointing a professional executor alongside a second executor, whether a relative or another professional from a different firm. This dual appointment enhances accountability and allows for a review of charges.

Contact Us

For personalized guidance on selecting your will executor, contact our Gold Coast estate lawyers. Trust QBM Lawyers to navigate these complexities and protect your estate’s integrity.

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