Nominating an Executor in Wills
You can nominate a maximum of four executors to act under your Will, however you should ensure you also 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 older than you, you should also consider nominating a substitute executor.
- You should also consider having substitute executor(s) if a nominated executor cannot act for some reason. For example, the complexity of administering the estate might be too complicated or your primary executor may no longer be available.
Wills & Beneficiaries
Beneficiaries are persons who will receive your assets in accordance with the instructions and proportions set out in your Will. They usually include your spouse or de facto partner and any children. You may divide your assets in any way you see fit. 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. However, it is important to note that there are a number of risks with not providing adequate provision for certain people under you Will.
You may also elect to provide specific gifts, such as your jewellery, house or car to particular beneficiaries.
Trusts can also be set up for any children or step-children so that assets will only be passed to them when they reach a specific age.