1. Who can act as an Executor?
Appointing an executor is a very important component of your Will, and a decision you should take time to think about. The people you choose must satisfy a few requirements:
- They must be a resident of Australia.
- They must be over 18.
- They must have the legal, physical and mental capacity to complete the tasks involved. This means they are able to understand the nature of administering an estate, and they are not incarcerated or an undischarged bankrupt.
On top of these requirements, you may want to consider the person's suitability to the role:
- Make sure you trust them completely. They will have full discretion when dealing with any unforeseen circumstances that arise, and are acting on your behalf in administering the estate. Make sure you choose someone who will act as you expect them to.
- Executorship can be a big workload, and you don't want to choose someone who won't be up to the task. You should select someone that is understanding of the matters involved, will have the time to execute the tasks properly, and won't be overburdened with the grief of your loss. To make sure they are willing and able, we recommend notifying them of their nomination when you fill in their details in the 'executor' module of the Will.
- An executor can also be a beneficiary under your Will.
2. Who should I choose as executor?
The three most common choices for executors are close family, friends or professional executors.
Choosing a friend or family member is a good way to ensure that the person you are nominating is trusted and knows your wishes, and they do not typically charge fees for acting.
On the other hand, some people choose to nominate a professional executor (such as a lawyer or professional adviser). While this removes the burden of executorship from a family member or close friend, it can also be expensive depending on the complexity of the estate and how the professional charges for their time.
To find out more information about executors, click here. If you are unsure about who to nominate as your executor, and have a complex situation that requires specific advice, we recommend seeking independent advice from a legal professional.