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Excecutor of a will, what does this entail?

(39 Posts)
Donbean Wed 15-Jun-05 19:57:56

My dad has asked me to be one of his exsecutors, what does this mean and what will i have to do?

franke Wed 15-Jun-05 20:09:09

It means you have to administer all the wishes as set out in his will. Basically you appoint a solicitor who will deal with everything if it's a bit complicated - the funds for this are paid for by the estate. That's how I understand it. I'm sure a legal bod will come along and tell you exactly in a minute.

Donbean Wed 15-Jun-05 20:22:34

Thanks Franke, i need some more info because a hundred questions are running through my head about it but i dont want to say no and let him down.
I need to know more though.

Pruni Wed 15-Jun-05 20:23:52

Message withdrawn

Hulababy Wed 15-Jun-05 20:24:17

Dh (solicitor who specialises in this area of law - see article on MN homepage) has just gone out for a drink with friends, but I can ask hoim for more detailed information either later tonight or tomorrow, depending when he gets in, if you like?

Donbean Wed 15-Jun-05 20:25:27

Thats what worries me because i know for a fact that if any thing happens to my dad, the sh*t will hit the fan big time on the part of my family and im not sure if i can handle that.

Hulababy Wed 15-Jun-05 20:27:25

You could ask your dad to appoint you, and a solicitor to be executers - to stop you having to look for your own at the time.

Donbean Wed 15-Jun-05 20:28:00

Thanks Hula, this is not straight forward in that the family dynamics are complex.
I feel that if i get it all straight in my head then i will feel better prepared and the first place to start is to speak with my dad regarding his explicit wishes.

Hulababy Wed 15-Jun-05 20:28:47

I will ask DH and post what he says. But might not be tonight - depends on time he gets in and how much he has drunk!

Donbean Wed 15-Jun-05 20:29:45

He has appointed my DH and his girlfriends parents as exsecutors. (sp sorry)
He says "two people from her side and two people from his side?"

Donbean Wed 15-Jun-05 20:31:24

{blush] my DADS girlfriend, not my DH's girlfriend!!! LOL

Donbean Wed 15-Jun-05 20:31:51

Double !

franke Wed 15-Jun-05 20:32:39

It's a tricky one Donbean. I'm executor of my mum's will and whilst I don't relish the prospect, I think from her point of view it is a question of trust. She needs to satisfy herself that her wishes will be carried out to the letter and can only imagine one of us (me or my siblings) doing that. FWIW I think you are right to satisfy yourself of what you have to do before you agree to it - it is a big responsibility to take on.

Donbean Wed 15-Jun-05 20:36:44

I would carry out to the letter his wishes and he has full and complete trust in me otherwise he would not have asked me.
However its the battle and nastyness that would innevitably ensue from my siblings and mother about his wishes.
I feel that i must fight his corner to the best of my ability but am exhausted just thinking about the future and the bleak battles ahead.

Donbean Wed 15-Jun-05 20:41:35

Could i be cheeky Hula and ask you to ask DH some questions for me?(when he has a spare moment if he doesnt mind)

franke Wed 15-Jun-05 20:47:50

How stressful for you - I can see exactly why you are anxious. Potentially you will be stuck in the middle and dumped on by everyone - the very last thing you will need when you're grieving too. I'm not going to even attempt to suggest what you should do, but really hope it gets resolved for you

Hulababy Wed 15-Jun-05 20:49:39

Course you can Donbean. I can say that as he is out and unable to argue Only joking; he won't mind! If you'd rather not post, please feel free to e-mail me on claireandrich(at)beeb(dot)net

Donbean Wed 15-Jun-05 20:54:04

I will ask away as you may be busy at the mo and unable to answer this post yet. (hope you dont mind)
1) why would my dad appoint his girlfriends parents and not his girlfriend? Is this a legal "thing"?
2) How set in stone is a will, how easily can it be contested?
3) should i have been present at the formulation of the will or is it confidential until such time as it is needed?
4)What claim would my mother have on the will, if they have been divorced for many years?
5)If there are 4 people appointed as exsecutors, and the possibility that they may not see eye to eye, how are decisions made regarding which solicitor to appoint etc? (i dont really know these people so there is always the possibility that we may not agree on things) (they are nice people from what little i know of them but the mother is an alcoholic with mental health problems)
6) my sister is of the firm belief that she is the exsecutor of my dads will, does my dad have a responsibility to inform her that she is not?
Sorry to go on and on but as you can imagine, ive got loads of questions.
If your dh doesnt want to answer my questions for what ever reason then please dont worry, i wont be offended, i can always ask at the CAB.

Donbean Wed 15-Jun-05 20:56:36

Crossed posts sorry.
Its rediculous getting stressed at the thought of what might happen but with a family like mine its unnavoidable!
Thanks for the sympathy Franke, its appreciated and thanks very very much Hula.

Earlybird Wed 15-Jun-05 21:15:06

An executor's job is to carry out the wishes of the deceased as laid out in the will. The executor is also responsible to sort out tax issues, settle debts, bequests, etc. An executor is someone trusted implicitly to carry out those instructions.

To be honest, I wouldn't relish the idea of being part of an executor "committee". There's too many "cooks in the kitchen" IMO with 4 executors, and the scope for disagreement/conflict is too great.

My father had a bank named as his executor. They were very efficient, and certainly there was no issue of complicated family dynamics. However, the bank charged alot of money to perform those duties. And it meant that his heirs received less as a result.

My grandfather appointed his daughter as executor. She liased closely with the solicitor's firm that drafted the will. Not sure it was cheaper than using the bank though. The daughter took an executor's fee (which you are usually entitled to if the estate is complicated and time consuming to settle), and there were significant legal fees.

It's an important decision, and a tough call.

Hulababy Wed 15-Jun-05 21:18:47

I will show Dh the questions and get back to you

Donbean Wed 15-Jun-05 21:23:37

Its this that worries me, bieng part of a commitee as you say.
I wonder why my dad felt that this was appropriate. I suspect that it is to protect his girlfriends interests and additionally they have a small baby son so its for him as well.
I find it a strange choice because they will have to be very very strong and willing to embrace battle and im not sure if they realise this. Im also not sure that they are up to it as they have big problems of their own to cope with without taking on some one elses.

Earlybird Wed 15-Jun-05 21:36:10

I should think the interests of your father's girlfriend/their child will be protected if it is set out that way in his will. The will, if well written, should lay out your father's wishes and the executor's job is to carry out those wishes - not put them up for discussion!

Your father is entitled to leave his estate to anyone (or multiple people/charities, etc) he pleases - assuming he's of sound mind. I'm sure we all recall hearing of people who left their estates to their cats, or some such. It may be bizarre to do something like that, but it's perfectly legal - and here's the point I should state that I am not legally trained, but am speaking from personal experience.

A solicitor can tell you about how/if a will can be legally contested (if that's what your father fears).

stleger Thu 16-Jun-05 17:25:13

Has the will been drawn up by a solicitor, bearing in mind the various parties who might feel the need to contest it? The amount of money saved by using a statioery shop will is insignificant compared to the costs of a disputed will. (My solicitor recently bought a holiday cottage which she swears is from such work - her motto is where there's a will there's a family).

wilbur Thu 16-Jun-05 17:35:30

donbean, I have recently acted as executor of my father's estate jointly with my sister. His was relatively straightforward and even then it has taken us nearly two years to get everything sorted out. A good, unflappable solicitor who will advise and hand-hold is definitely a good idea, and I also bought a very useful book called something like The Which Guide to Wills and Administering an Estate which basically tells you your duties and all the steps that you and/or the solicitor will have to go through. If your family situation is complicated, it is still far better to be an executor than not, so you have an equal say.

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