It is crucial to choose the people you appoint as executors of your will with care, as their job involves a great deal of work. There are also long term responsibilities involved with the role, as it can take several months, so approaching those that you would like to act as executors before officially appointing them is advisable. If someone is appointed and does not wish to be an executor, they can refuse.
Executors are responsible for administering an estate once the owner has died. Their role can include deciding when to sell your property and ensuring the right amount of Inheritance/Capital Gains Tax gets paid. For this reason, the person you appoint should be trustworthy, capable of handling financial matters, aware of the responsibility of the role and able to work effectively with family and friends.
In your will, there must be at least one named Executor, but it is advisable to name between two and four. However, estates with many executors can take longer to administer. You can also choose to appoint a substitute executor should any of your first choices be unable to act at the relevant time. Executors must be aged 18 or over and there is no rule to say people named in your will cannot be executors.
It is usual for people to choose their spouse, children or their family friends as their executors. However, this should be carefully considered, as they will need to manage all of your affairs affectively at what will be a difficult time, personally.
Some people decide to use professional executors for their will. This brings the advantage of having an estate administered by an experienced expert, but also incurs fees, which must be paid out of the estate. Some people choose one family member or one professional, such as a solicitor or accountant.
When your Executors have been chosen, be sure to confirm their full names and addresses in the will, otherwise they may not be able to do their job if they cannot be found.