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Published On: May 2, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

Appointment of a professional executor in your Will

An executor is the person (or organisation) you choose to administer your estate and distribute your estate in accordance with the wishes in your Will, therefore, appointing your executor should be an informed decision. Whilst many people decide to appoint their loved ones, i.e. spouse, children, or other family members of friends as their executors, the alternative option is to appoint a professional executor, such as your solicitor to act as your executor. The letter approach has many advantages. The main benefits are:


Expertise and Experience

Professional executors have extensive experience in estate administration. They understand the legal complexities involved and can navigate the process efficiently. Estate administration involves various legal and financial responsibilities, including tax obligations and distributing assets correctly. Due to their knowledge and expertise, professional executors minimize the risk of errors and ensure that the estate is administered in accordance with the law and the wishes of the deceased.



Professional executors can provide impartiality, especially in cases where there might be disputes among beneficiaries or family members. Their focus is solely on executing the wishes outlined in the Will. In addition, professional executors are bound by professional standards and regulations. This ensures that the administration of the estate is conducted diligently and transparently.



Estate administration can be time-consuming and overwhelming for individuals who are not familiar with legal procedures. Professional executors have the resources and systems to facilitate the process while saving time and minimising stress for the beneficiaries. By appointing a professional executor, individuals can have peace of mind knowing that their estate will be managed competently and in accordance with their wishes, relieving their loved ones of the burden of navigating the complexities of estate administration.



In the event that your executors named in the will predecease you or are unable to fulfil their duties due to incapacity or illness, professional executors provide continuity by ensuring that the administration of the estate proceeds without interruption.

When you are considering appointing a professional, such as your solicitor to act as your executor, you should be made aware that they will charge for their time spent proving your Will and administering your estate. Usually, a charging clause will be incorporated into your Will allowing your executors to charge for the time spent performing their duties.

The charging clause can be added into the body of your Will or can be incorporated by inserting a clause that your Will incorporates the STEP Standard Provisions 3rd Edition. The STEP Standard Provisions are a set of ready-made clauses that can be inserted into a Will. These clauses are commonly used by probate practitioners and provide protections and powers that enable the executors to effectively deal with the estate.

Your solicitor should provide you with an indication of their likely current costs of carrying out the administration of the estate and acting as an executor. This information should be provided upfront to allow you to make an informed decision as to who to appoint. Another important consideration is the fact that their charges are likely to increase in the future.

Under the SRA’s Transparency Rules 2018 solicitors must provide information about the current costs of their probate and administration services on their website, you can find information about our current fee and services offered here. Nonetheless, it is still a good practice for a solicitor to discuss this with the client during the initial meeting.

The information on likely costs should include the average cost or the likely range of costs, the basis for the charges, usually by reference to their current hourly rates, as well as the information about like disbursements, such as probate application fee, bankruptcy searches, valuation fees and other likely costs payable to others.

To sum up, there are various benefits of appointing a professional as your executor, while the cost element might concern some individuals, given the complexity of estate administration, many lay executors are likely to appoint a solicitor to act on their behalf in administration. Consequently, the costs of appointing family or friends versus appointing a professional executor can be very similar.

If you are considering appointing a professional exactor in your Will, or if you have any other questions about drafting your Will, our specialist Will, Trusts and Estates team at Anthony Gold will be delighted to help.

* Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

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