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Another Will question.(7 Posts)
My DH and I have made wills leaving everything to each other when either 1 of us dies.
That's the simple bit.
The problem arises if/when both of us are dead.
We have instructed our Solicitors to be the executors of our estate.
We have no children but are both from big families and have left everything divided between several beneficiaries - approx 26 of them in total and left a legacy to a charity.
A recent family bereavement has made us re-think our will and my question is :
in order to cut down on Solicitors fees, could we name 2 family members as co-executors in addition to the Solicitors?
My thinking is that if the Solicitors communicated with these 2 people only, then they in turn could be the ones to communicate with the other beneficiaries.
My concern is that if we only have the Solicitors as executors, after writing letters to 26 people regarding this inheritance, there will be nothing left for them to inherit as it will have all been spent on legal fees. On the other hand it is too complex to expect 2 lay people at different ends of the country to sort it all out without the experience of the Solicitors.
I'm a will writer and never ask clients to appoint me as an executor unless they literally have no one in the world to act for them. This is because it costs a lot to have a professional executor and in simple cases such as yours there is no need.
I worked for 25 years in high street solicitors practices and we were always pressured to get the clients to appoint the firm as executors as they can charge a lot of money to do the work which frankly isn't rocket science. I see what you say about two executors at different ends of the country finding it difficult to co-ordinate and suggest that you either use a married couple instead as executors, or still use two sep. people but they can always hire a solicitor just to do odd bits of work if they're struggling (this is inherent in the will, or should be).
You suggest that the solicitors currently acting as executors don't have to write to 26 people but unfortunately they are under an obligation to notify each beneficiary individually.
In your case, I'd suggest that you just appoint two lay people to act. All they have to do is sell your assets, pay any debts and then send cheques out to your beneficiaries.
I do wonder, though, whether some of your beneficiaries are children whose parents are still alive (because there are so many of them!)
So if currently you have 5 beneficiaries, Mr and Mrs X and their three children a, b and c, it may be simpler just to pare that down to a gift to Mr OR Mrs X on the basis that the family as a whole will benefit. Otherwise the gifts to the children will be held in trust until their 18th or 21st birthdays, and unless these are large gifts they may be a bit of a pain to administer.
I have a paid for advert over on Classified Small Business of Mumsnet titled 5* Will Writing Service recommended by Mumsnetters if you're interested.
I think al ot of solicitors if named as executors but on death the family want to act instead happily give it up, but yes you are right that it could be expensive if they act instead of family. Are the family members happy to act as executors?
The other thing about family acting as executors is that as they're usually also beneficiaries they're a lot quicker at sorting everything out than a solicitor!
Solicitors also often charge if they renounce as executors so even if they let the lay executors act there could be costs to this.
Appointing family or friends as executors still usually gives them the right to appoint solicitors to act if they feel they need to as long as the will is worded correctly.
Many thanks for all replies - much appreciated.
We will re-visit and simplify and re-think executors.
btw there's a special offer on at the moment, see the paid for advert on Mumsnet Classifieds (Marlow Wills) for details.
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