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Appointing executors in your Will
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Home / Making a Will / Creating your Will / Appointing executors in your Will

If you are making a will you will probably want to appoint executors to deal with your estate upon your death.

What is the role of an executor?

An executor is responsible for applying for probate and then discharging any liabilities (unpaid bills, inheritance taxes and funeral expenses) the deceased may have and ensuring that the balance of the estate is distributed in accordance with the terms of the will.

How are executors appointed?

To appoint an executor you should name your choice of executor in your will.

How should I choose who to appoint as an executor?

The executor’s job involves a fair amount of work and responsibility. A person cannot be forced to take on the role of an executor. For this reason it is a good idea before appointing an executor to check whether your proposed executor would be willing and able to take on the role.

An executor can be a family member or friend, a solicitor, an accountant, a banker or the “Public Trustee”. The Public Trustee is a government official who has the power to act as an executor. If a solicitor, accountant, banker or the Public Trustee is appointed as an executor their charges will be deducted from the proceeds of your estate.

How many executors should I appoint?

There is nothing stopping you from appointing just one executor, although it is normal to appoint 2 or 3 executors in case, for example one of your executors dies before you.

Can I change the executor I have appointed?

Sometimes it will become necessary to change the executor you have appointed, for example if the executor has died or is no longer willing or able to take on the role. If you want to change the executor you have appointed you can do this by writing a new will or a codicil.

What happens if an executor isn’t appointed or my executors refuse to take on the role or all die before me?

If you don’t appoint an executor or your executors refuse to take on the role or all die before you then the Court will appoint “administrators” to deal with your estate. Administrators will normally be close family members.

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Single Will or Mirror Wills?

If you are a couple and wish to leave all your assets to each other then you could save money by making  Mirror Wills. You can also use Mirror Wills if you whish to leave your estate to the same beneficiaries. 
If you wish to leave different legacies, appoint different executors or you would like to specify individual funeral wishes then you will need to make two Single Wills.
single will mirror will