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Old 14.04.2010, 20:39
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Re: Executor for a British will, resident in Switzerland: Possible?

I have recently been asked if I'd be willing to act as executor to the will of a friend back in England.

While very honoured to be invited to fulfil this role, I am reluctant because:
  • I am not resident in the United Kingdom, and no longer have any property or interests there;
  • I don't have the kind of job that would allow me to take time off at short notice to act as executor.
Has anyone had any experience of dealing with these kind of matters while living in Switzerland? Is it even possible, or does non-residence in the United Kingdom present problems when handling the estate?

Any advice gratefully received.

Thank you.
An executor can live abroad:

Also see:

That is not true for all jurisdictions and all circumstances, but it is so in England & Wales. (I live mostly in London and was executor for my mother's will, probated in New York State. She was Swiss, and the rules for Swiss Americans are here: I was also lawyer for the estate, for which my mother had signed a special letter of authorisation as required under NY law. But I only needed to be in NY twice: once to file for probate with the court and once to negotiate the estate tax bill. I probably could have done both out of London.)

Generally the probate lawyer will handle all the details and the executor only needs to sign documents. For this the executor is entitled to be paid, although family members often waive fees when acting as executor. (There is something of a scam whereby banks and will writers draft wills for free or a small fee, naming themselves as executors and then charging huge fees after the will is probated.)
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