Are you required to have a lawyer as a trustee or executor of a will?

Question Details: My mother asked a lawyer to draft a basic will for her, with my sister and me as the executors. The lawyer included herself as an executor and trustee. Is this normal and will it mean that we will pay more in legal costs than if it were only my sister and me? Do we have to have the lawyer as executor?

Filed under Wills/Estates | 1458 View(s)

Are you a lawyer? Login or register to answer this question.

Answers by Lawyers

Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

No, you don't have to have a lawyer as trustee or executor of a will.

It can help to have a lawyer as executor, especially if the will might create a trust. Depending on the terms of the will, things can get complicated. But it's not essential to have a lawyer. Some law firms will draft a will for free, but ask that they are appointed as an executor - that's when they'll charge fees for their work.

Your mother can also ask the lawyer who drafted the will why she has included herself as executor and trustee. If she's not happy with the response, your mother can change the will.

You can find some good basic information about wills here: www.communitylaw.org.nz

Answered 5 Dec 2013. The IMPORTANT NOTICE below is part of this answer.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The answer provided above is intended for general informational purposes only and cannot be considered a substitute for face-to-face legal advice. It should not be relied upon as the sole basis for taking action in relation to a legal issue. Laws change frequently, and small variations in the facts, or a fact not provided in the question, can often change a legal outcome or a lawyer’s conclusion. No liability whatsoever is accepted by the authors or publishers of the answer, for loss, damage or inconvenience arising in any way from the use of this site. While each answer has been published by a lawyer with a practising certificate, that person may not necessarily have experience in the particular area of law involved.

For more information about this website, please review our Terms of Use.