Who should I appoint as my executor and trustee?
Many people appoint a friend or relative as their executor. They may do this as a compliment, a way of acknowledging their respect and admiration for that person. The reality is that they are left with the stress and responsibility involved in administering your estate at a time when they may be grieving.
Appointing an executor is not a favour that you bestow on a friend or relative. It is an important personal responsibility that can be time consuming, challenging and requiring complex decisions.
When appointing an executor, you should ensure that he or she has the time and capability to carry out the required duties. It can be advisable to avoid appointing someone who is a beneficiary and may have a conflict of interest. Furthermore, it is unwise to appoint an executor who is your age or older than you. It is not uncommon for an appointed executor to predecease the person appointing them. It is also best that you do not nominate executors who live overseas or interstate as this can cause delays and complications when administering the estate.
As being an executor can be a complex and time consuming task, it is wise to consider a professional and independent executor. This minimises the workload and burden on your family and friends at a difficult time.