Choosing Your Executor

The executor of a Will performs an important role in making sure your wishes are carried out

Your executor can be anyone who is of sound mind and over the age of 20, whether they are a family member, close friend, or a professional advisor such as Perpetual Guardian.

They’ll be doing things such as:

  1. Paying off any debts you have;
  2. Getting Court authorisation to administer your Will;
  3. Distributing your assets to the people you want to receive them;
  4. Paying bills, closing accounts, filing income tax returns; and
  5. They may also have to deal with any claims on your estate.

Things you should consider:

  1. Your executor should have a solid understanding of accounting, business and taxation matters. They will be required to deal with the Courts and undertake a range of financial duties. If you choose a friend or family member, they may need to seek financial or legal help.
  2. Whoever you choose should be aware of the legal responsibilities of this role. They will be personally liable for any mistakes they make.
  3. The person you choose must be around to do this role after you are gone. With this in mind, we’d recommend choosing someone in New Zealand that is younger than you or a Trustee company to carry out this role

Picking Your Substitute Executor

It’s also good practice to name a Substitute Executor in your Will. If your Executor is unwilling or unable to carry out the role, the Substitute Executor will be able to step in for them.

We recommend you keep in mind that a Substitute Executor should usually be younger than yourself or your chosen Executor, in case your Executor passes away before you. You may appoint a family member, close friend, lawyer or Perpetual Guardian.