The Pros and Cons of Professional Executors

When creating a Will, you need to appoint an Executor for your estate. Choosing your Executor can be difficult, as issues and conflict within your family can get in the way. However, you can also appoint a professional Executor, which comes with its own unique benefits. 

What Is the Role of an Executor?

An Executor is a person who carries out any wishes outlined in your Will. This is a vital decision, as you need to appoint someone you can trust and know will do as you ask. 

Some of the responsibilities an Executor might have to deal with include:

  • Paying Inheritance Tax or Capital Gains Tax
  • Deciding if or when to sell your property
  • Sending out death certificates to various institutions
  • Managing your finances

You can choose to appoint two Executors if you wish. In doing so, if one passes away before you, there will be someone left to administer your estate. Up to four people can be Executors for your Will. However, they will have to act jointly, so this is not often recommended.

Do You Have To Appoint A Professional Executor?

You don’t have to have a professional to execute your estate. You can appoint your spouse, child, or a friend to do this for you. A non-professional Executor is also known as a Lay Executor.

In some instances, difficulties arise if the person you appoint as your Executor is unsure of their responsibilities or has a limited understanding of how to carry out specific tasks. For this reason, selecting a suitable Executor is incredibly important in administering your estate and making sure your wishes are carried out upon your death. 

Benefits of Appointing a Professional Executor

A professional Executor comes with many benefits, such as:

  • Responsibility – A professional Executor will take on all of the responsibility of executing your estate, sparing your loved ones from the burden. This can be a difficult time for those close to the deceased, and employing a professional can make this challenging time slightly more straightforward.
  • Expertise – Wills can be complex legal documents, especially if they contain many clauses or a large estate to manage. A professional Executor will know how to manage any issues that arise, ensuring that your loved ones can rest easy knowing that everything is being dealt with correctly.
  • Impartiality – A key benefit of appointing a professional Executor is that they will remain impartial throughout the process of executing the Will. Tensions can run high between families, especially if there is a conflict. If the appointed Executor encounters conflict with other family members, the Will may not be executed properly. However, if you hire a professional Executor, your Will will be executed as outlined, and conflict won’t get in the way.
  • Prevent a Will with no Executor – If you appoint a loved one to execute your Will, but they pass away before you, your Will will be left without an Executor. If you cannot select another Executor before you pass, there will be no one to execute your Will. This can lead to delays in administering your estate. Yet, appointing a professional Executor can prevent this.

Many people choose to appoint a professional Executor for these reasons. They want to take the majority of the responsibility off the shoulders of their loved ones and give them time to grieve without the pressure of executing their estate. 

Drawbacks of Appointing a Professional Executor

However, as beneficial as a professional Executor can be, there is also a drawback to consider:

  • Costs – Appointing a professional Executor will be much more expensive than appointing a friend or family member. It is important to consider if you need a professional if you want to limit the costs. A professional may take a share of your estate as payment or send a bill once your estate has been administered. If you are looking to appoint a professional, make sure to discuss these options before making a set-in-stone decision.

Although some consider it more cost-effective, this is the major drawback to appointing a professional Executor. If you appoint a loved one as your Executor, they may then hire a solicitor to assist them with the process, which can amount to the same price as appointing a professional Executor. 


Appointing an Executor is an important personal process that influences how your Will is administered. Whether you select a loved one or a professional, you should carefully consider who you appoint and why. 

Professionals may be more expensive, but if you are concerned about family conflict or how a Lay Executor will manage your estate, they may be worth the cost. They will also take the stress off your loved ones and deal with any issues that may arise with your Will. 

Contact The Planning Bee today for a free consultation with our expert paralegals if you would like more information or assistance with later life planning.

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