What is the role of an Executor?
What is an Executor?
In short, Executors are people authorised by a Will to deal with a deceased’s estate. They are also responsible for ensuring that the instructions set out in the Will are carried out.
This formal authority is obtained by “proving” the Will at the Probate Registry, which issues a grant of probate as evidence to everyone that the named Executors have the authority to administer the estate.
When the grant of probate is issued, the deceased’s Will becomes a public document.
What are the main duties of the Executors?
The duties of the Executors are mostly to collect the estate, pay all debts outstanding at the date of death (including those arising during the administration of the estate) and to distribute the residue of the estate.
An Executor should be a trusted and reasonable individual who is over the age of eighteen.
If there is no one that the person making the Will could or would like to appoint as an Executor, then there is always an option to appoint a solicitor instead. Solicitors will charge for this service but this would come out of the estate and is often seen as ‘money well spent.’
An increasingly popular, and often more affordable option, is to name family members or friends as Executors and to appoint a solicitor to assist the Executors throughout the process. This could be clarified in a Will and significantly lessen the burden of becoming an Executor while still holding onto the control over the estate.
What would be some of the other roles of an Executor?
- Checking to see if there are any instructions regarding the funeral – this includes checking if there is a pre-paid plan or insurance to help pay for it as well as any specific requests about the funeral itself.
- Notify all of the relevant people such as insurance companies and banks of the date of death.
- Settling the deceased persons finances and paying any bills that are owed.
- Valuing the estate.
- After a valuation has been undertaken on the deceased’s estate, the executor will have to deal with paying Inheritance Tax (if applicable).
- Keep an account on what has needed to be spent and how everything has been administered to show that the Executors have administered the estate properly.
The above roles are only a handful of what Executors have to do, but it shows the level of responsibility Executors have and their role is not often an easy or straightforward task.
Can Executors also be beneficiaries?
Executors do not have to be beneficiaries of the Will, but they can be. Most clients like to leave a gift in their Wills in order to show their gratitude and appreciation to the Executors for the work they had to carry out.
Here at My Local Solicitor, we are more than happy to discuss your particular circumstances and help you choose your perfect Executors and/or assist them with their role when required.