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Reviewing your will - your executors

View profile for Ben Taylor
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In the last couple of months, I have written about the importance of reviewing your will to ensure it is up to date with your personal and financial circumstances, but also in light of any changes to the tax environment.

Over the weekend, the importance of reviewing who you appoint as your executors from time to time has made front page news and, indeed, we would expect that to form part of the general review.

What is an executor and who can it be?

An executor is an individual, appointed in your will, who will administer your estate when you die. You have a range of options when it comes to appointing your executors. Typically, spouses or civil partners will appoint the survivor of them as their executor, occasionally by themselves but frequently with another.   We often see family members appointed, a close friend, a professional appointment (perhaps your solicitor or accountant) or even a trust corporation (Roythornes Trustees Limited, for example). Sometimes, and usually in the case of older wills which haven’t been reviewed in some time, we see banks or building societies appointed.

When it comes to a professional appointment, you need to remember that a charge may be made for acting as executor, and it’s important to be aware of what those fees might be before making your decision.

Whoever you appoint will need to be willing to take on the duties and responsibilities that come with the role, though they can always ask a solicitor to help.

Changing your executors

It is possible to change your executors without changing the entire will. This can be done by using a codicil, which we typically use to make small changes. The process is simple, and can be done relatively quickly.

Of course, if your will hasn’t been reviewed in a while, it may be that a complete overhaul is recommended. If you go to speak to a solicitor, I would expect them to consider what you have, the people in your life and then advise you on your will based on these things and the current Inheritance Tax regime. It might be that your current will is absolutely fine, but you may find there’s a change that can be made you hadn’t previously considered.

How we can help

Roythornes has a wealth of experience in advising clients in the drafting of their wills, lifetime tax planning and asset protection. We’re ready to act as your executor should that be right for you, but even if we’re not appointed, we’re happy to help your executors administer your estate. This can be limited to obtaining a grant of probate, or a full administration of your estate, and we’ll work with your executors to strike the right balance.

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