When it comes to writing your will, aside from deciding who to leave your property as well as other assets to, or even to decide who to disinherit in your will, another major decision you will need to make is deciding who you should choose as your executor.
Appointing the right executor is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions to make considering the importance of what executors have to do. While many choose to appoint close friends or family to act as their executor, here are 4 situations where it is wise to hire a professional executor of will instead.
1. Your Assets and Liabilities Are Numerous and/or Complex
Professional executors who can be, for example, specialist estate planning lawyers, have the legal skills and expertise to deal with estates that have complex and/or numerous assets and liabilities. They will be better adept at handling any problems that might arise so as to safeguard your assets. Issues such as contention to the grant of probate or contention to your will are complexities that could happen and that will greatly benefit from having the knowledge of a professional executor in order to overcome.
2. You Want To Prevent Foul Play and Dispute Amongst Those Who Have an Interest in Your Estate
It is not uncommon for disputes or foul play to arise, especially if you die without a will. Even if a will is made before death, having family members appointed as your executors can also be a topic for contention where “bad faith in administration” can be cited as a reason for legal pursuit. Acting impartially and only in the best interest of your estate and wishes, a professional executor of will lessen the risks of such complications from happening.
3. You Want To Protect Your Loved Ones Against Fiduciary Liability
Executors are held personally liable if the estate is not properly administered; they owe a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the estate. Thus by hiring a professional executor of will, you essentially protect your loved ones against fiduciary liability by not appointing any of them as your executor.
4. You Want To Ease Your Loved Ones’ Burden of Having To Administer Your Estate
With the administrative and legal responsibilities that come with being an executor, it might be hard on your loved ones to handle them on top of grieving your passing. The process to obtain a Grant of Probate could potentially be tedious for someone with no prior knowledge as not only do they have to understand the court rules and procedures to get the numerous documents accepted by the court, they would also need to know what to do if the will is defective or challenged. By having a professional executor of will not only ensures that your estate will be administered efficiently but it also relieves your loved ones of the overwhelming burden of having to handle your estate.
Aside from the scenario where you cannot find an executor for your will, if you are experiencing any of the 4 situations listed above or have other related concerns, you should consider hiring a professional executor so that you can set your mind at ease that upon your passing, your last will and testament will be carried smoothly and impartially.