Can Your Solicitor be the Executor of Your Will?
Whether you have drafted a Will or are thinking of drafting a Will, the question of who you should appoint as your Executor is an important one.
The Executor of your Will plays an essential role in ensuring that your last wishes as stipulated in your Will are carried out in a timely and effective manner.
Did you know your Solicitor can be the Executor of your Will?
What is an Executor?
An Executor is simply a person who you appoint to carry out the last wishes of your Will in the event you pass. This is often a family member or close friend.
However, in some circumstances it may be beneficial for you to decide against appointing a family member or close friend as the Executor of your Will, and instead opt to elect your Solicitor to to fulfil this role.
When should I appoint my Solicitor to be the Executor of my Will?
If you have a complicated situation regarding your Estate or relationship with a family member(s), and you do not have a suitable person in your life who you think is capable of managing your Estate, you may wish to appoint your Solicitor to be the Executor of your Will.
Having your Solicitor as the Executor of your Will ensures their expertise in dealing with the matter in a timely and effective manner. Further, their neutral position ensures your Estate is distributed in accordance with your last wishes, thus reducing the chances of any potential family drama.
What is required of your Solicitor to be the Executor of your Will?
Although your Solicitor may not be the first person who comes to mind when you think of that individual entrusted to carry out your last wishes, it is not at all uncommon to have them appointed as your Executor.
Unlike a close family member or friend, your Solicitor is required to adhere to strict procedure in order to be appointed as the Executor of your Will.
In accordance with the Legal Professional Uniform Law (“LPUL”) , your Solicitor must adhere to the following requirements in the event they are appointed as the Executor of your Will, namely:
- Your Solicitor must inform you in writing of the fact that they will be the Executor to your Will and advise of:
- Any entitlements they may have to claim Executor’s commission;
- Any provisions to charge any legal costs; and
- Any other person(s) who may not make a claim for Executor’s commission.
If your Solicitor will be receiving a substantial benefit from your Will other than the Executor’s commission or legal fees, you must be:
- An immediate family member of the Solicitor; or
- A Solicitor, or immediate family member of a Solicitor, who is a partner, employer, or employee, of the Solicitor.
If your Solicitor is the Executor of your Will and does not follow the above requirements, they are in breach of the Legal Professional Uniform Law, which in itself carries severe consequences.
If you are deciding whether your should appoint your Solicitor to be the Executor of your will, you should ensure they are compliant with the above requirements.