Many people choose their spouse or civil partner, or their children, to be an executor. At least one of your executors will need to be aged over 18 at the time they apply for probate – which is a legal document that gives you the right to sort out the affairs of someone who has died.
There’s no rule against people named in your will as beneficiaries being your executors. In fact, this is very common.
A person under the age of 18 can be appointed as an executor in a will but won't be entitled to apply for probate until their 18th birthday.
If the young person (under 18) is also a beneficiary or has life interest in any of the assets under the will, then two executors are required.
Up to four executors can act at a time, but they all have to act jointly. So it might not be practical to appoint that many people.
It’s a good idea, though, to choose two executors in case one of them dies before you do or ‘renounce probate’ if they do not want the job. If an executor dies, any other surviving executor(s) can deal with the estate. It is possible to name a replacement executor in your Will in case one of the executors cannot act.
Many people choose a professional executor such as a solicitor to act for them but charges can be quite steep. It is helpful to have someone involved with specialist knowledge but your executors can always appoint professionals at the time to help them if they need it – which may be more cost effective.
You can appoint substitute executors to cover the situation if your first choice dies before you.