Scottish Wills - What is an Executor



 

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What is an Executor

An executor is the person named in a will to carry out the administration of the deceased’s estate in accordance with the provisions of that will. If the deceased failed to make a valid will, or where there is a partial intestacy, the court will appoint a person known as an administrator to wind up the affairs of the deceased (or to deal with those assets not dealt with under the will) in accordance with the intestacy laws.


When making a will, you are free to appoint anyone you wish to act as your executor provided they are over the age of 16 years and of sound mind. In this regard, you can appoint a relative, a beneficiary under your will, a solicitor or even a bank or professional trustee - the choice is yours. It is also possible to appoint more than one person to act as your executor. Where more than one executor is appointed, these co-executors can act separately (each one with full authority to act on behalf of your estate) or they can be required under the terms of your will to act jointly in which case both executors (or all executors, if there are more than two) must agree to a course of action before taking that action.


Upon your death, your executor will have the legal responsibility and fiduciary duty to handle, safeguard and distribute your property in accordance with the terms of your will. In addition, your executor will also be responsible for procuring the payment of any debts or taxes owing by you or your estate at the date of your death. These debts and taxes, if any, will be paid from your estate (using the assets of the estate) before the distribution of the remainder of the estate’s property to the beneficiaries named under your will.

 

 

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