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Choosing an Executor

The choice of an Executor or Executors to administer your estate in accordance with your will is a very important decision. An executor could be a professional executor such as a solicitor or accountant or a trusted friend or family member.

It is important to appoint someone who you consider is trustworthy, will deal efficiently with paperwork and will act impartially to carry out your wishes.

There is no legal requirement to appoint a professional Executor such as a Solicitor, Accountant or Bank. If you do not have complicated financial affairs and your will is straightforward and you do not consider there is any likelihood of a dispute regarding your will, then you may not consider it necessary to appoint a professional Executor.

In many straightforward cases a family member or friend may be considered suitable and able to carry out the task. However, the office of an Executor can be an onerous task with the legal responsibilities and a risk of personal liability if the estate suffers loss as a consequence of the actions (or lack of action) of the Executors. It is always possible for the Executor(s) appointed to instruct a professional person (such as a Solicitor) to act on their behalf to administer your estate. The professional person’s charges may be met out of the estate and the Executor(s) will be able to agree with the professional person the manner in which his charges will be calculated.

We do pride ourselves upon explaining all of the options so that you may make an informed decision as to who you should appoint to be your Executor(s).

When to think about appointing a professional Executor

There are, however, many instances where you may consider it appropriate to appoint a professional Executor. Some examples of those instances may be as follows:

  • Where your financial affairs are complex involving, for example, business or agricultural assets, foreign assets or a large estate where the Inheritance Tax and other taxation implications may be complicated.
  • Where your will is complex including a number of gifts and setting up trusts.
  • Where you anticipate that the beneficiaries will not agree and there will be some benefit by having an impartial professional Executor to act.
  • Where you consider there is a likelihood of the provisions of the will being disputed.
  • Where there is another will made in another jurisdiction dealing specifically with the assets in that jurisdiction.

Appointing Hegarty Solicitors as your Executor

Hegarty Solicitors can act as Executors in appropriate cases when asked to do so and in that event we would charge for acting as Executor. However the charges only arise following your death.

We work to ensure our charges are fair and reasonable and they are calculated by reference to the time spent by the person carrying out the work at an hourly rate of charge. In the vast majority of cases we are able to provide at the outset an accurate estimate as to the likely charges.

As a matter of course when we prepare a Will where the Partners of the firm are to be appointed as Executors with a view to being totally transparent we provide an estimate as to our likely charges if we were to administer a similar estate at the time of preparing the Will.

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