Being appointed Executor is not a gift
Why being appointed Executor is not a gift
Below is a transcript of Lauren Farrelly’s interview with Aaron Stevens of 990 4RO from July 2016.
Absolutely. It is one of the most important decisions that you can make when you are putting your will together. Your executor really is the lynch pin for making sure that the administration of your estate goes through without too many issues and as little wrinkles as possible.
Many people think that appointing someone as an executor is a gift that they are giving them. That is certainly not the case, it is a job. You are putting them in charge of sorting everything out and dealing with your family whilst they are still grieving your loss.
And obviously there are some that go smoothly, as you said, without wrinkles, and other’s that come with plenty of wrinkles.
That’s right. The issues that we tend to see are when people appoint executors and have more than one person to do the job together.
If you appoint more than one executor, they must act jointly and agree on all of the decisions. Now if you have got warring siblings, that is very unlikely to happen.
The problem that we have is that it is going to slow down the administration of the estate and in some cases it stops it almost entirely. In addition to that, the cost skyrockets because we have got to talk to everybody individually.
So what would your tip be?
Really think about who is going to be appropriate to sit in that role.
Who’s going to have an understanding of what your wishes were, be able to put your wishes into effect, understand what the will says and make sure that is what’s going to happen, and think about the personalities and who is going to be the best person in that role.
Sometimes you need someone who is just going to tell the family how it is, and other times you need someone who is a bit of a peacemaker. And, on top of that, you need to think that if you are going to put more than one person in there, are they going to be able to work together and are they going to be able to work with the rest of your family to get things moving?
Obviously your advice in most cases would be just to choose a single person.
That is often the best way to go, but it is not always the case.
So it’s going to depend on everybody’s circumstances and the family dynamics and I think it is really important in that respect to have a think about it but also have a discussion with a professional about what they think is the best way to go. Because sometimes, just appointing one person can also cause issues if everybody else is missing out.
Yes of course. And to talk to the person you’re thinking of appointing as the executor, is that important?
Absolutely. A lot of people don’t tell others that they have appointed them as executors so they’re not aware that they’ve got a job to do when you pass away.
So I think you need to, well first ask them if they are willing to act in that role, have a chat to them about what your wishes are, some people also like to show the intended executor their will so that if they’ve got any questions about why you’ve done something or how you want something handled, you are there to give the answers.
And also, the really important thing is to make sure that your executor knows where the original will is, whether you’ve got it stashed under the bed or in a solicitor’s office in a safe custody box, so that if something happens to you, they know where to find it because without that original will, you are looking at having a whole heap of issues.
Alright more advice, you can get that by doing?
Contacting me at Rees R & Sydney Jones Solicitors on 4927 6333.
Great to see you Lauren.
Thanks very much.