The Art of Delegation

What is Delegation?

The dictionary calls it, “The action or process of delegating or being delegated. Or, assigning, entrusting, giving the action or task to another.”

But why delegate?

Delegating a task releases a burden on you and allows you to become less overwhelmed.

And it ensures that some tasks which would not otherwise be completed correctly (because you do not have the ability to do them) and on time (because you do not have the time to complete them.

Why not delegate?

Well, if you believe the old adage; ‘If you want something done right; do it yourself’, then you cannot delegate because you won’t believe the person to whom you have given the task will do it well.

Where delegating went wrong

Perhaps a good story that indicates how delegating a task might go wrong is ‘The Judgement of Paris’ – the mythological tale of how Paris (the prince of Troy) was asked to judge the beauty of three goddesses.

Zeus held a banquet in celebration of the marriage of Peleus and Thetis (Achilles’ mum and dad). Either he forgot, or, perhaps deliberately, he didn’t send an invite to Eris, the goddess of discord. She was angry so arrived at the party anyway bringing a golden apple from the Garden of the Hesperides (a blissful garden where the nymphs lived). Eris through the apple into the middle of all those assembled, shouting, “To the Fairest!”

Three goddesses, Aphrodite, Hera and Athena, thought they should be given the apple as they were the fairest. Zeus was asked to decide.

Now, deciding on who is the most beautiful goddess is not going to be easy and Zeus was reluctant to make the choice; so he delegated.

Having recently shown his commendable fairness in a contest of bulls, Paris, the son of the king of Troy was given the task.

The wing-footed Hermes led the goddesses to Paris. Each of the goddesses offered Paris gifts to make him choose them, however, Aphrodite offered Paris the love of the most beautiful mortal woman alive; Helen.

She was the face that launched a thousand ships and it was because of her abduction that her husband Menelaus fought with the Trojans and thus began the Trojan War.

Wills; Where you cannot delegate

It may seem from that story that delegation is not such a good idea, however, one thing that cannot be delegated is the signing of your Will – or can it?

Well, someone can sign your Will on your behalf, when you are physically unable to sign. However, it must be written that this person is going to sign on your behalf and you must be present and give direction for them to sign – you cannot delegate that part.

Of course, you can delegate the job of actually writing the Will, and you can, indeed, leave the job of deciding who inherits your wealth to a Trustee – however, you have to give instructions that you wish for a Trust to be set up in your Will, what of your estate should go into that Trust, and who make up the list of beneficiaries from whom your Trustees should decide.

And, the instructions of your Will must be given by you. That part cannot be delegated!

Delegate the task

But, you can of course ask for advice on how your estate might be divided to ensure that you do not pay any more tax than you need to and to ensure that your wealth doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

That task can be delegated to us!

So, if you would like to have a chat about delegating the task of finding the best way for your Will to be written to us, call us on: 020 8920 3360, or, alternatively, visit our website: http://www.twb.org.uk.

In the meantime, what is the best or worst task that has been delegated to you? Leave us a comment to let us know.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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