23 Feb Should you appoint a Professional Executor?
An article in The Times from November 2017 warns against appointing a solicitor as an Executor in your Will.
The article reported that a couple were faced with an exorbitant legal bill of £115,000 which was “removed” from a modest £300,000 estate. The deceased, had appointed a solicitor as the Executor of his estate in his Will. His son was alarmed to discover that the costs for administering his late father’s estate were spiralling out of control, and when he complained, he was informed that only the ‘client’ of the solicitors i.e. the Executor – in this case, the solicitor themselves – could complain, despite the obvious conflict of interest.
While there are rip-off ‘professionals’ in every industry, a Will introduces a unique dynamic by its very nature; as the person appointing the professional to their Will is no longer around at the time they are required to act! However, Complex family dynamics or possibly lack of family ties altogether can mean that appointing a professional is a sensible option – even if that professional is simply appointed in a ‘replacement’ capacity, or to give assistance if the lay Executors require it. In addition, the person appointing a professional has a natural desire to make sure that their affairs are dealt with effectively for their loved ones.
What is not sensible is not being able to;
a) appoint a professional in a ‘flexible’ capacity so the family can decide if they need them,
- b) secure a fixed fee in advance of work starting, and
c) not being able to complain effectively at the service being provided.
Many people assume that Wills and probate matters should sit with their local solicitor. However, it is simply not possible for ‘generalist’ solicitors to be specialist in all legal areas. One day they will be dealing with a divorce, the next litigation, or conveyancing or commercial law matters… The may only deal with Wills and probate matters on an infrequent basis, and both drafting Wills and dealing with probate & estate administration can be very complex – particularly in light of the ever-changing legislative environment.
Heir Tight Wills work with qualified Estate Administration professionals to provide the services their clients and their families need after a death. These professionals are experts in what they do because estate administration is the area of law they specialise in. For a FREE Consultation to discuss your options in writing or updating your Will & estate planning provisions or in relation to Probate & estate administration services, contact Rachael Rodgers on 0845 519 7585, or CONTACT US via email.