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The role of an executor

Posted
November 10, 2022
Wills, Trusts and Probate

An executor is a person named in the will of a deceased and is chosen by them to deal with the estate according to law. The deceased’s Will can appoint any number of persons as they wish but only 4 of the named executors can take out a Grant of Probate. If more than one Executor is appointed all must make decisions jointly.

An Executor can also be a beneficiary of the will. Executors can be a family members of the deceased, friends of the deceased or professionals (e.g. a lawyer).

Being an Executor can be time consuming and burdensome.

Executors duties can include the following:-

  • Registering the death
  • Arranging the funeral if there are no family of friends able to organise this
  • Gathering information regarding all of the deceased’s assets and liabilities by contacting all the financial organisations where the deceased may have held assets e.g. banks, Building Societies, Life Insurance Companies
  • Securing the deceased’s property and notifying the insurer
  • Complete the necessary Inheritance Tax account for HMRC (if required)
  • Apply for a Grant of Probate (if required) in order to collect in all assets and money due to the estate of the deceased (including property) 
  • settle the deceased’s liabilities eg credit cards & loans 
  • Arrange to sell the deceased’s property
  • Contacting and identifying all beneficiaries named in the deceased’s Will;
  • Distributing the estate in accordance with the Will (or the intestacy rules if a partial intestacy occurs).
  • Prepare Estate Accounts

An Executor should keep thorough records as they may be required to submit a full inventory of the estate to the court, along with an account of the administration. 

Executors have personal and unlimited liability, which means that if an Executor makes a mistake they could end up footing the bill for any financial or legal claims that occur as result of their actions. This takes effect as soon as you undertake the role.

Being an executor is an onerous task and it should not be undertaken lightly. If an executor is unwilling to act in their role, it is possible for them to renounce their executorship but this must be done before they are deemed to have “intermeddled” in the estate. 

If you require assistance Contact stevensdrake to discuss.

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