A legacy client – someone we weren’t actively working with but whose affairs we’d previously handled – recently died.
Their will names three executors. Which sounds like plenty. Unfortunately, it’s not turned out that way…
The first lives abroad and so isn’t keen to get involved. The second had no idea they had been named and doesn’t want the role. The third is the company lawyers and the surviving spouse doesn’t want them to carry out the duty.
So, despite originally naming three separate executors, they’re left with none.
The biggest lesson from this experience is how important it is to talk to whoever you’re nominating as executors in your will, especially if they’re friends rather than professional connections (i.e. lawyers). Not only will you guarantee that they’re willing to agree to being involved, you can also give them a clearer idea of what will be involved.
A letter of wishes that accompanies your will can be a good guide for your executors, letting them know – in plain English – what you’d like to happen. And make sure you include our name and details so we can support them with all the relevant documents and information when the time comes.
Have you named executors in your will? Do they know? Perhaps it’s time to add writing a letter of wishes to your financial wellbeing housekeeping list.