You can nominate a maximum of four executors to act. You should obtain each executor’s consent before making a nomination. Your executor can also be a beneficiary. In selecting your executors, you should keep in mind the following:
If you intend to leave the majority of your assets to a single person, such as your spouse, then usually that person should be nominated as one of your executors;
You can nominate an independent person, such as a friend or advisor, who you trust to act as co-executor if you wish. It will be the responsibility of both executors to work together in this situation;
Consider the executor’s age before nominating them. Especially if you nominate an executor who is likely to pass away before you. If you nominate someone who is older than you, then you should consider nominating a substitute executor as well.
You should also consider having substitute executor(s) in the event a nominated executor cannot act for some reason. For example, the complexity of administering the estate might be too complicated or your primary executor is no longer available.
Beneficiaries are persons who will receive your assets. They usually include your spouse or de facto partner and children. You may divide the assets in any way you wish. For example, you may wish to give children and step-children assets in percentage form with one beneficiary entitled to a greater interest than the other. Alternatively, you may wish to divide your assets into equal shares. You may also provide specific gifts such as your jewellery, house or car to particular beneficiaries. You may also set up trusts for any children or step-children so that assets will be passed to them when they reach a specific age.