Choosing your executor is an important decision that needs to be made. Your executor is responsible for administering your estate. Your executor will see to it that the terms of your will are carried out after you die.

What should you know about choosing your executor?

The executor that you choose must be a person you can trust, and he needs to be able and keen to do the job. The person that you pick has to be honest and reliable. It is recommended that you think about choosing someone who doesn’t stand to inherit from your estate. The person you pick has to be objective when distributing your assets.

Consider these points:

  • The executor has many duties. The executor needs to petition the Master of the High Court to accept your will. He also must create an inventory of all assets in your estate and he is responsible for selling assets if required to pay estate debts. These are just some of his duties!
  • Did you know that the executor’s fees are 3.5% (plus VAT) on the value of the gross assets in your estate? Choosing the right executor for the job is essential.
  • Once the deceased estate has been registered, the Master issues a Letter of Executorship that authorises the executor to represent the deceased estate.
  • Winding up your estate can take a long time. It can take at least a year or more to wind up your estate.
  • The executor doesn’t have to release any assets until your estate is finalised. He can release assets earlier but he may not.
  • If the executor is a non-family member or friend, it is unlikely that he will release assets earlier. Your family could have financial difficulties.

As an experienced Trust Specialist, I can advise you regarding choosing your executor, and I can explain the importance of estate planning to you. It can’t be emphasised enough how essential it is to choose your executor with caution. Please get in touch if you would like to book a consultation.

DR MERVIN MESSIAS
JD (Juris Doctor) / BA, LLB (Wits) / TEP (Trust & Estate Practitioner)

Schedule an appointment with my Executive Assistant, Jutleth Mkhonza. Email julie@mmtrustspecialist.co.za or call +27 (0) 11 783 0108.