"Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." - Mark Twain
Can my Beneficiaries be my Executors?
What's the difference between an Executor and a Trustee?
Do I have to appoint a Solicitor or Bank as my Trustees?
Does it matter if my Executors live abroad?
How many Executors can I choose?
What does an Executor have to do?
Should my Guardians be Executors?
Do I have to list everything that I own in my estate?
Do Gifts and Legacies have to be under a certain value?
Can I gift to charities?
Can I set age limits when gifts can be received?
Who can automatically become a Guardian?
Executors, Trustees And Guardians
Q. Can my Beneficiaries be my
A. Yes they can if you want them to. Today it is often
common that those who will get the estate have a role
to play in the organising of the estate before it is given.
Q. What's the difference between
an Executor and a Trustee?
A. In most estates today, it is common to appoint the
Executors as Trustees. The main difference is that the
Trustee is the person responsible for making the decisions
that maintain the estate whilst it is held on trust, before
it is given to the beneficiaries. The Executor is the
person that carries out (or executes) the actions and
wishes of the Trustees during this time.
Q. Do I have to appoint a Solicitor
or Bank as my Trustees?
A. You can appoint anyone you like. It is likely
however, that when your estate is going through Probate,
that you will in some part require some professional assistance.
Our advice is to choose people you absolutely trust and
ensure that the Will includes a statement that empowers
them to employ any professionals that have not already
Q. Does it matter if my Executors
A. No, although it is always prudent to have some executors
in the country in which you are residing.
Q. How many Executors can I choose?
A. You can have as many Executors as you like, but the
Law only allows a maximum of four to act at the same time.
Q. What does an Executor have
A. The main role of an Executor is to carry out the wishes
of the testators estate.
Q. Should my Guardians be Executors?
A. It is very common for the guardians to be executors.
It normally follows that if you trust someone to take
care of your children, then they should have some form
of access to the assets of the estate to provide for your
children. It should also be mentioned that there are some
instances where the Guardian (e.g. a divorced parent)
should not be allowed direct access to the assets, but
go through an alternative Executor.
Gifts And Legacies
Q. Do I have to list everything that I own in my estate?
A. No, Wills are not shopping lists. If you want specific objects, collections or even amounts
of money to go to particular people, then yes you should list these. However, what you do not
identify in your estate (everything else not listed - whatever it is) is dealt with through
distribution of the Residue.
Q. Do Gifts and Legacies have to be under a certain value?
A. Not at all, A gift can be any value you like (e.g. £10,000 or your house etc.).
Q. Can I gift to charities?
A. Yes, but we need to know the full Name, address and Registered number of the charity. All
gifts to charities are tax free - so they can be used to reduce any Inheritance Tax liability.
Q. Can I set age limits when gifts can be received?
A. Yes, this is what Trustees are for - to see that the gifts you leave are preserved as best
as possible until they should be given at the time you have specified.
Q. Who can automatically become a Guardian?
A. Only the birth parents (if married) of the child or
children have 'parental responsibility'. This means that
unless the father is married to the mother only the mother
has an automatic right to appoint Guardians. If you make
a Will, 'Parental Responsibility' can be given through
appointment of Guardianship to the birth father.
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