Death probably isn’t something you like to think about, but as you get older you would like to think when you die your final wishes will be respected and your loved ones will benefit from your hard earned assets and family heirlooms. That is why it’s important to have at least one trusted executor to make sure your wishes are carried out. An executor’s job is to manage your estate after you have died. Their duties might include overseeing the sale of a property, responding to any claims against the estate, funeral arrangements, managing any inheritance tax due from the estate and setting up a trust for any beneficiaries under the age of 18.
The first thing you need to do is make a will outlining who will benefit from your estate in the event of your death, stating who you want to act as executor. You may want to leave a sum of money or a treasured possession to a number of different people or organisations, as well as having a particular request as to what happens to your body.
An executor can be a family member, a friend or a hired professional, but it must be someone who wasn’t present when you made the will. Whoever it is will have to obtain a Grant of Probate in order to gain access to any accounts you have. If you don’t name an executor or leave a will, someone – either a beneficiary or a blood relative – will have to act as an administrator of your estate and will have to apply for the Letters of Administration which will give them the same powers as a Grant of Probate.
Death isn’t an easy thing to come to terms with, but dealing with the important matter of probate while you’re still fit and healthy will lead to a more relaxed old age.