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Old 15.04.2010, 02:21
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Re: Executor for a British will, resident in Switzerland: Possible?

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A solicitor always acts as an agent never as a principal, meaning he has got to take instructions from someone and no offence to your friend, but since dead men can't take.....

BTW this is almost always the way with a solicitor: they act as a agent and ultimately are never responsible for the actions of a client <g>, nice way to make your money.............

Remember that even if you are named as executor you can decline to "qualify", i.e. refuse to serve. You will probably have sone idea of the solvency of the estate. There will normally be an alternative executor nominated failing which the public trustee may serve.

Executors' compensation is generally substantial if the estate is large. You may have to take out a bond and you can insure against some risks.

It would be unusual to name a "friend" as executor without assuring compensation and/or a legacy.

That said, you may be right to decline. You might advise the friend to think of a trust, or testamentary trust, instead. Probate can be costly.

There may be tax issues as well as liability questions. If you decide to consent (or think you may be named without consenting) read the Probate Service guides.

If the estate is or becomes insolvent, it may be made bankrupt (in the Uk, but not in the USA, where state law applies).
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