Appointing Executors and Trustees: Who should I choose?

Appointing Executors and Trustees: Who should I choose?


One of the initial considerations, and a very important one, is deciding who to appoint to act as Executor under your Will or as a trustee for any trust whether in lifetime or in your Will.


The roles of Executors and Trustees are onerous and place a great burden on the person appointed to act in accordance with strict fiduciary rules and duties. It is important to remember that Executors and Trustees may be held personally liable for any negligence or loss which may occur when undertaking their duties.


When deciding who to appoint, it is important to strike a balance between appointing someone who you know and trust to fulfil your wishes whilst also ensuring that the people you appoint are fully aware of their responsibilities and are able to carry out their duties competently


One common pitfall is appointing various family members to act jointly. It is easy to overlook potential problems which may arise further down the line when family members are forced to act together. Differences of opinion and personal views can often lead to disagreements which in turn can have a severe impact on the administration of the estate or trust, especially where all parties are required to agree or act unanimously.


One easy way of avoiding such confrontation is to appoint a professional Executor or Trustee. Many people may feel uneasy about appointing a professional organisation as they feel the family may lose control but this does not have to be the case. A professional can be appointed alongside other individuals or as a reserve. This allows the family to retain control whilst providing flexibility by ensuring that they have access to professional support and assistance if and when required.


For more information on the appointment of a professional Executor or Trustee then please contact the Society of Will Writers.

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