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Choosing executors

When you make a will, you need to choose your executor(s) - the people who will deal with distributing your money and property after your death.

Being an executor can involve a lot of work and responsibility, so think carefully about who you choose. Explain what’s involved and check that they’re willing to act on your behalf.

Point them towards How to be an executor (PDF 611 KB) to read more about the role.

Having more than one executor

You can appoint any number of executors, but only a maximum of four may apply for the Grant of Probate, the official document that is needed to deal with your estate.

It’s a good idea to choose more than one executor, so they can share the responsibility and in case one of them dies before you do. The people you choose to act as your executors can also inherit something from your will, but can’t be witnesses to the will. They aren’t paid for their work as executors but can claim reasonable expenses from the estate.

Executors as trustees

Executors are usually appointed as trustees as well, in the event that a trust is created within your will. If anyone under the age of 18 is to be a beneficiary of this trust, you should appoint at least two trustees/executors. Take professional advice about creating a trust.

Professional executors

Acting as an executor isn’t an easy task and your family and friends may not want to take on the role. In this case, you could appoint a professional executor, such as a solicitor or an accountant - especially useful if your estate is particularly large or complicated. A professional executor will charge for their services and this will be paid for out of your estate.

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Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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