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When making a will, you must choose an executor, and usually at least two will be needed. This law-byte sets out how we might assist you if you appoint us to act. We welcome being asked to act as executors; it remains an honour to have such trust put in us.

We normally recommend that you consider appointing at least one family member, and it can be helpful to appoint in addition a professional executor. Having an independent, and objective voice can help to avoid disputes within families. Similarly although parts of the work of administering the estate are routine, there are many technical elements which will require help.

The circumstances following a death vary tremendously. A person's affairs might be simple but in a mess, or complicated but well organised. There may be difficulties within the family. The survivors can be overwhelmed by the bereavement, or sometimes determined to carry out the administration of the estate in person, as a tribute to the person who has died. We follow, first, the wishes of the person making the will so far as they are known to us, but after that, we will talk to any co-executors, and try to reach an agreement about the division of labour between us.

There will be times when we agree that there is no purpose in our being further involved, and we will accordingly stand aside. There will be times when we will be asked to do everything. We will look for an agreed basis of acting.

We cannot easily quantify our costs in advance. Our current way of charging for the administration of estates is time-based. We charge fees for each attendance, at our standard rates according to the grade of fee earner involved. We will provide details of our current rates on request. We hope, of course, that it will be many years between our appointment, and the coming into effect of that appointment. The way we charge for our services will change from time to time. The basis of charging which would apply, would be the terms current at the date the work is done.

It is normally sensible to appoint a professional executor, but this is a matter for you entirely, and we will be happy to prepare your will on our standard terms whether or not we are also appointed as executor.

If you do appoint us, then your Will will include a 'charging clause', allowing us to be paid for any work undertaken in administering your estate. Without this clause we could not accept the appointment.

Important: Please note that our law-bytes are retained for archival purposes only. The law changes, and these notes are often, now, out of date. You must take direct advice on your own personal situation and the law as it currently stands.
All information on this site is in general and summary form only. The content of any page on this site may be out of date and or incomplete, and you should not not rely directly upon it. Take direct professional legal advice which reflects your own particular situation.
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18 October 2013 59 18 October 2013