One of the most important decisions that a person can make when drafting their will is to think long and hard as to who should be the executor of their estate once they pass away. People often think it is fine to appoint their spouse or family members, but it is never that simple.
Being an executor is not an easy task. Note that if you do not appoint one, the Master of the High Court will appoint one on your behalf when you pass on.
Important points to keep in mind when appointing an executor
- Is the person that you have appointed capable of carrying out the duties required in order to wrap up the estate?
There are lots of legal requirements and processes that need to be followed when executing an estate, so it would be best to appoint someone who is experienced in this field. Examples are Attorneys and Financial advisers who deal with estate planning, and in some instances, banks.
- How much will they charge your estate?
Executors are by law entitled to charge an executors fee of up to 3.5% (plus VAT). Depending on the complexity of your estate, be sure to negotiate the fees with your executor and agree on a fee that is fair between the two of you. You do not have to pay 3.5% (plus VAT). You definitely are allowed to negotiate better fees.
- Rather not nominate your spouse or other family members to deal with the wrapping up of the estate.
It is often a very emotional time when someone passes away and by nominating your spouse or family members, it is likely to result in delays in finalizing the estate. If they are inexperienced or unqualified in this area they probably would not know where to start. By completing a valid will and nominating an executor, you are taking care of your family and their administrative burdens by making sure things are in place for when you pass on.