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Old 15.04.2010, 11:21
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Re: Executor for a British will, resident in Switzerland: Possible?

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For simple uncontested wills - i.e all goes to spouse or sprogs - there's really no need to get a solicitor involved. Same as drawing up a will. (At least one under English law).
Agreed, in terms of it being relatively straightforward. But you're looking at it from the beneficiaries' perspective. It saves them money. But even in simple estates, problems can and do come up for executors. If you screw up and it leaves beneficiaries out of pocket, then your mistakes might be forgiven by the beneficiaries if you and they are all family members. If you're an unrelated third party executor (friend of the deceased, but not necessarily a friend of all the beneficiaries), then the beneficiaries might not be so forgiving.
I know someone who was executor of his deceased father's estate. It wasn't complicated, but there was a house to sell - very normal in the UK. With all the emotion of the death and the funeral he delayed putting the house on the market. Then he was busy with work and travel, and the delay grew from weeks to months. The housing market was booming so nobody seemed too fussed and it eventually went on the market. But shortly after the credit crunch hit and the housing market came to a standstill; prices plunged. His delay potentially cost other beneficiaries . Executors have a duty to sell assets within a reasonable period of time. When they woke up to the position they were in, his co-beneficiaries suddenly got really pi$$ed but since it's all in the family they're not suggesting he should indemnify them. Might have been different if it wasn't all in the family. And even if negligence isn't proved, the angst you could be put through by disgruntled beneficiaries is worth thinking about. I think there's a world of difference being executor for a family member and being an executor of a friend.
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