How do I select an executor for my will?

Most married people usually opt to select their surviving spouse as their executor or executrix. However in this era where travel, be it by air or motor is commonplace or even a necessity, naming an additional person as your executor besides your spouse is not only wise but highly recommended. In selecting who to appoint to execute your will, do give it some consideration and we encourage that you discuss with your spouse the suitability of the candidate.

First you should enquire with the candidate and get their prior consent. This is especially important if your candidate of choice is not an immediate family member. You may have this candidate in mind because of his or her abilities to conduct their own legal affairs. In addition, you may take into consideration the candidate’s

  1. relationship with you;
  2. knowledge of your affairs, local and abroad and their ability to allocate time to deal with a foreign legal system if your estate is multi-jurisdiction;
  3. ability to appreciate the legal documents that they will be required to sign towards the application for probate for your estate;
  4. commitment to carry out burdensome provisions in the will for e.g. a continuing trust to execute for minor or disabled beneficiaries.


From our experience as professional executors, there are a myriad of different tasks required of an executor, hence the above is not conclusive. After your candidate of choice accepted the appointment to act as your executor, they are still allowed to resign, and if they should do so or have a change of mind and declined the appointment, it would mean additional cost to your estate.

If they decide to accept the appointment, then their first responsibility is to ensure that a lawyer is appointed to advise them on their duties. For the lawyer to start the estate’s execution process, the first task is to locate the will.  If you did not disclose to your surviving spouse or executor  where the will is kept, this could pose a problem. Having a will which cannot be found is the same as having NO will. For this reason, our WILLSAFE storage services is a good solution. We make sure that your executor has your original will fully intact to execute your estate.

Further, as part of our professional services when you draw up your will with us, we will ensure that your executor is able to access all necessary information to support the application to court for probate of your estate. Our 25 years of legacy planning has given us the edge in planning legacies of all types of estates:  local and overseas jurisdiction, big and small estates, with trusts of minor children or even aging parents, all sorts of valuable chattels and personal collections and a myriad of personal requests and preferences on how distribution is to be carried out. Hence, our supporting templates with a list of necessary items of our clients’ personal details financial and otherwise are legacy-proof to aid the executor to carry out their duties on behalf of our testator clients. 

We at HERITANCE WILLS are equipped with the legal expertise to function as your professional executor or to assist your executor


– How to ensure that you appoint the right executor to execute your estate?

– How to create wills or other legal instruments with the correct legal terms
to smoothen distribution of your estate?

Take the first step towards your peace of mind.
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About the author

Ms. Kim Khoo

P.J.K, C.L.P., LL.B (Hons) London
Principal Legal Consultant