Scottish Wills - Who should be your Executor


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Who should be your Executor

Choosing an executor is one of the most fundamental tasks associated with making a will. Getting the choice right can mean the difference between a smooth administration on one hand and a tardy administration with unexpected delays and costs on the other hand. It’s therefore important to take your time and make the correct choice. Typically, the characteristics to look for in a good executor include good common sense, excellent organizational skills and integrity.

Of course, many people tend to choose their spouse, a sibling, an adult child or a good friend as their executor. Others choose professionals such as a solicitor, accountant or professional trustee. All are good choices provided that the person chosen is both competent and trustworthy.

Other things being equal, it will often pay to choose a family member or friend as executor for the simple reason that these people expect little (if any) compensation in return for their time, will respect your wishes, and are generally keen to process and finalize things as quickly as possible. However, keep in mind that the process can be quite administrative and time is often of the essence. So, you should still ensure that you choose someone who is organizationally reliable and generally up to the task.
It is not enough, however, to simply appoint someone who has all the hallmarks of a good executor. You must actually appoint someone who is willing to take on the role as it is always open for a person to refuse to accept the role despite being nominated in a will. In fact, many often refuse to act as executors because they are either too busy to take on the task or feel daunted by the prospect of doing so.

If your chosen executor refuses the appointment, a court will appoint someone else to fulfil the role. Usually, this will be a relative, a beneficiary under your will or a creditor of your estate.
Once you have decided on who you would like to appoint as your executor, it’s important that you actually discuss your choice with them before actually naming them in your will. You will need to explain to your proposed executor the nature of his or her role and that it may not be a straight forward and easy process. If, after explaining the role, your nominee is willing to take on the task, then you should be free to formally appoint them under your will.


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