Your will - is your executor qualified?

We all want to ensure that our loved ones are not unnecessarily burdened with complications after our death.
One way to ensure that this does not occur is to appoint a suitably qualified executor. In the past, many people have nominated their spouse, children or a family member as the executor of their estate. The Master of the High Court has recently refused to issue a Letter of Executorship to executors who they regard as a “lay” person. The Master usually only gives Letters of Executorship to lawyers, accountants and companies who specialise in the winding up of estates. This has mainly occurred due to the fact that the Master’s office found that executors without the required skills did not submit information and forms timeously which resulted in delays in the winding up of estates.

It does not, however, mean that you cannot appoint your spouse or family member as the executor of your estate. If the Master refuses to issue the Letter of Executorship, the executor will need to appoint a suitably qualified person or company to act as an agent. The agent will work for the executor, who can negotiate the agent’s terms and fees. If the agent does not fulfil the terms agreed upon, the executor may replace the agent.

It is therefore imperative, when drawing up your will, that you consider the appointment of the executor and if you decide on your spouse or family member, you also nominate a suitable agent to assist them. You can, by doing so, negotiate terms with an agent prior to death and know that your estate will be in qualified hands and hopefully avoid delays and possible additional costs in winding up of the estate.

If you require our services in the above regard, please contact us on 021-7138700 to assist you.

31 Oct 2017 12:53


About Desiree Goodwin

Client Service Manager - Tax at Meredith Harington