Should I tell someone they are my executor?

Clients sometime ask me, “Should I tell someone that they are my executor?” I think it is an excellent idea to let your executors know that they have been appointed in your will, so that they know what to expect. It gives them the opportunity to raise any objections if they would prefer not to act, and allows you to secure their agreement to the responsibility of performing this important role.

The same applies to your children’s guardians – it is well worth mentioning to the prospective guardians that you would like to appoint them and securing their agreement to act. Having graciously accepted this honour, prospective guardians can be forgiven for spending the next 18 years hoping fervently that the family members in question will look both ways before crossing the road!

When it comes to telling beneficiaries that they are due to benefit in your will, things are less clear-cut. Your spouse will (I sincerely hope) already know what to expect, and if your children are of an age where you can have that conversation with them too then it’s always best if there are no surprises on death.

Should I tell someone they are my executor?
Rebecca D’Arcy

I did have somebody ask me recently whether they ought to notify the fallback beneficiaries in their wills that they were getting a mention, if their primary beneficiaries failed to survive. In this scenario, I would actively recommend against mentioning it. The last thing anyone wants is a “Kind Hearts and Coronets” type scenario where your fallback beneficiary works out that they will only need to do away with 8 family members in order to inherit the estate themselves!

Chiltern Wills is a friendly, professional will writing business based in Beaconsfield and run by former London solicitor Rebecca D’Arcy. To discuss making your will or powers of attorney or if you would like some assistance with obtaining probate, call us on 01494 708688 or email for a free, no obligation initial consultation.

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