and trustees are usually the same person.
can appoint up to four executors. For parents, it would be normal to
appoint at least two Alternative
executors and trustees. If you have young children the possibility always exists
that they will
be needed to look after funds held in trust for children until the date
specified in the Will or the child’s eighteenth birthday. It is
expected the trustees will need various powers in relation to these
funds, including power to advance money for maintenance or education of
a beneficiary and power to invest
Trustee is a person who is usually your Executor and is a person who
holds your property on behalf of others while your estate is being
administered. Frequently, Trustees are appointed to hold your estate for
the benefit of infant children while they are under the age of eighteen.
An Executor's Duties
An executor is appointed in a will to
administer the estate after the death. It is usual, and sensible; to
seek the agreement of the executor before the appointment is made. After
the death, the executors' duties are defined in what is called 'the
executor's oath.' The duties are in general.
"To collect, get in, and administer according to
law the estate of the deceased” in accordance with the terms of the
Often, executors make the arrangements for
the funeral, and when doing so, make themselves personally liable for
the funeral account. If they do this they are entitled to be indemnified
from the estate.
The extent to which an executor carries
out his duties personally vary very widely. In some estates, there is
very little to do beyond the closure and distribution of one or two
building society accounts. Other estates can require substantially more
The executor may choose to ask a firm of
solicitors to carry out some or most of the work, or, indeed, if a firm
of solicitors is so instructed, to agree between them who will do which
tasks. The executor can choose to delegate almost all the work to the
solicitor, or to do the entire job him or herself, or to make any other
arrangement in between.
At a minimum, however, the executor should
expect to be involved in a certain amount of correspondence and signing
of documents. It would be usual also for the executor to do much of the
initial work of locating and identifying assets in the estate and also
where there are gifts of particular items to arrange for the
distribution of these items.
Whatever happens, an executor is entitled
to have his proper expenses paid out of the estate, so the task should
not normally be a financial burden.
Where people do go wrong from time to
time, is in under estimating the need to comply precisely with several
of the law's requirements. For example, it is common, but quite wrong,
for executors to distribute items from the estate to family members but
not in accordance with the terms of the will. 'He always said I could
have the clock.' may be true, but if it isn't what was said in the will,
or memorandum of wishes, or written specifically elsewhere and which is
mentioned in the will, it is incorrect for the executor to give the
Last, it is perhaps worth dispelling the
myth of the "reading of the will", where the executors,
solicitor, and beneficiaries gather together amid great suspense, and
simmering acrimony, to reveal the contents of the will. This happens
very rarely, if at all.
question frequently asked is whether an executor can also be a
beneficiary. The answer is yes, provided the Will contains the
appropriate wording. However executors, beneficiaries, or the
spouses of executors, beneficiaries, MUST not witness Wills as
gifts to witnesses or their spouses will not be allowed to stand, Save
for exceptional cases.
executors and trustees will be needed to look after funds held in
trust for children until the date specified in the Will or the child’s
eighteenth birthday. It is expected the trustees will need various
powers in relation to these funds, including power to advance money for
maintenance or education of a beneficiary and power to invest