Concern some executors are caught unawares

The importance of asking people if they are willing to serve as the executor of an estate has been laid bare by new statistics.

A recent survey suggested that a fifth of those appointed as an executor only found out after their friend or relative had died.

A similar proportion were made aware before the individual passed away, but after the Will had already been drafted – making it difficult for them to refuse to carry out the duties.

Executors have a number of responsibilities following a person’s death. They can choose to renounce the role, but only once the person who appointed them has died and prior to starting the job.

The survey of 2,000 people suggested that more than a quarter of those appointed found the duties stressful and one in five admitted it was upsetting. Around 12 per cent of those made executors sought professional advice after conceding they didn’t understand what was required.

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