There has been a lot in the news the past few weeks about banks essentially paying themselves up to £15,000
having appointed themselves as Executors in Wills that they have previously arranged for customers. Coupled with some solicitors triple charging clients’ Estates (an hourly rate, a percentage of the Estate and a fixed fee combined is not unheard of) this may leave you wondering if this could potentially be the next PPI scandal? Maybe so. However, for Estates where the solicitors and banks are already acting due to the customer being deceased, it’s too late but for those of you who are still alive and kicking you have the opportunity to change this, potentially saving your beneficiaries thousands.
When I meet with my clients to plan their Wills and we discuss Executorship my first suggestion is that they appoint trusted family members or each other if making Mirror Wills, in the first instance. A back up Executor is always wise and in the last instance I suggest appointing a professional such as ourselves to assist with the administration if all other named executors are unsure what to do when the time comes.
I’m sure there are some professionals out there laughing at the idea that we choose not to essentially write our own cheques out of our client’s Estate but we believe in giving you all the options available to you. There isn’t anything wrong with choosing to appoint a professional in the first instance but for most of us it is entirely unnecessary.
These are some things to consider when choosing your Executors –
Age- too old and they may die before you.
Location- there are practicalities in being an Executor such as securing the deceased’s property and registering the death.
Time- full time working and children to care for may not allow for time to carry out the necessary arrangements.
Capability- choosing your executor isn’t about flattery or being fair but about appointing those that are best for the job. I have my brother Richard as he’s the cleverest person I know and my no-nonsense friend Gemma as I trust her to get the job done.
You need to consider if your preferred people would even want to act for you. However, many of our clients say that they’ve spoken to their chosen people who tell them ‘’I’m flattered you’ve asked and I’ll do it but I hope I never have to’’.
If you’ve got a current Will and your Executors are a professional, call them today and ask what their fees will be. If you’re single and your current Will is a straightforward and the fees will amount to more than the £150 we charge for a new Will (£200 for straightforward Mirror Wills) then you, and indeed your Estate, will be undoubtedly better off by rewriting your Will with new Executors appointed.
For more information regarding writing your Will please contact Emma on 01903 821010 or via email Emma.firstname.lastname@example.org.