It is a fact of life the we are all going to die eventually and while not a pleasant topic of conversation it is my experience that those that talk and then plan for this inevitable moment reduce the difficulties that their surviving family will have to face. Arguably, a will is the most important document that you will ever sign as writing one ensures your intentions are met after your death.

It is the responsibility of an executor to carry out the wishes of the deceased as laid out in a will. Over the past 25 years at Biddle & Webb I have had the pleasure of meeting hundreds of executors. When I explain to friends that part of my role involves the valuing of assets within an estate, many think that this must be a rather morbid and unpleasant job. My experience is completely different.

I have had the honour of meeting some extraordinary people and in some small way I hope that I have helped to bring order to the deceased affairs. I have had the privilege to sit and listen to family members talk about the deceased and you realise that there are some amazing people with some amazing stories. I have met a wife whose husband was a witness to the aftermath of the Hiroshima bomb, sports men and women that have represented the country, those that have served the city including a couple of Lord Mayors. There are of course many more lives lived quietly within this great city whose lives were less decorated but no less interesting working for the likes of IMI, GKN or Cadburys.

It is vital for executors to get assets connected with an estate valued, whether it be the house, a car or the contents. Biddle & Webb can do all this and more. This process is important as probate is in fact a judicial process whereby a will is “proved” in a court and accepted.

So whether I am walking round a manor house, or a retirement flat, whether I am standing on rubbish stacked up to the height of a window sill or standing in a temple to minimalism – and I have seen both, Biddle & Webb are happy to help executors with their responsibility.

Jeremy Thornton                                                                                                                                    0121 455 8042                                                                        

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