Executor, Trustee and Attorney Services

As a general rule, Herrington Carmichael encourages clients to use friends and family for the roles of Executor, Trustee or Attorney. However, there are occasions when this is not practical and in such cases, it may be wise to think about appointing a professional to take on one or more of these roles. The following are examples of the most common occasions when this applies:

  • If you have no close family or they live a long way away.
  • If there are issues with your close family and their ability to handle money or make decisions.
  • When your only close family are of a similar age or older than you.
  • When you have a family that are at war with each other.
  • When your affairs are particularly complex or your Will contains complex trusts.
  • If you simply have nobody you feel you can trust.

What do you do if any of these circumstances apply to you?

Do not do, what is sadly common, and just ignore the problem and do nothing, or appoint someone who you know is unsuitable. That is not a solution and is a recipe for disaster!

The solution is to appoint professionals to take on these roles. The problem then is to decide on which professional to appoint. The alternatives available are as follows:

To appoint individuals from a firm of solicitors or accountants. This means you can appoint someone you know and trust. But what happens if the individual retires, dies or goes senile?

To appoint a firm of solicitors or accountants as Executors. This can work quite well, but a firm cannot be appointed as Trustee or Attorneys. There can occasionally be technical issues with such appointments because the firm itself cannot be an executor. Instead, individual members have to take up the appointment, bringing us back to some of the problems associated with naming individuals.

To appoint a Trust Corporation as Executor, Trustee or Attorney. This sounds like the ideal solution. A Trust Corporation is a limited company that can take on these roles. This means that the problems of naming individuals are all avoided. The problem seen by many people is that a Trust Corporation is impersonal, you are not dealing with an individual but with some nameless individual. This can be true when dealing with big organisations such as the Banks, the Co-op and other similar companies serving the whole country. These organisations often have a national headquarters from which most work is done. Some of these organisations, particularly the banks, are very expensive charging on scales relating to value.

Herrington Carmichael now offers the Trust Corporation solution but on a local level, seeking to avoid the problems of a large distant and impersonal organisation. If you appoint Herrington Carmichael Trust Corporation you will continue to deal with your known contact within the firm, but you will have access to all our expertise and will be sheltered against all the risks associated with being wholly reliant on one individual. There are no extra charges for using the Trust Corporation. You will continue to pay for our services on the basis of existing arrangements you have with your existing contact.

If you require any further information, please feel free to contact Anthony directly at anthony.tahourdin@herrington-carmichael.com or on 01276 854 947. Alternatively, please use the contact form below.

This reflects the law at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought as appropriate in relation to your own particular matter before action is taken.

Charlotte Drury-Woods
Partner, Head of Private Wealth & Inheritance
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This reflects the law and market position at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought in relation to a specific matter.

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