What is the Role of an Executor?
4 October 2021 by Jane Golding
When you make a Will you need to name one or more people to be your Executor. This is the person whose role it is to make sure that your wishes are carried out as you have set out within your Will. It is entirely up to you who you wish to choose but this is not a decision to be taken lightly.
- What does an Executor do? : An Executor is legally responsible for carrying out the instructions as set out within your Will after someone has died. It is not particularly an easy job practically or emotionally and can take several months or longer. There are a number of specific duties which will need to be carried out; for example
- Registering the death, sending certified copies of the death certificate to financial banks, societies and insurance companies;
- Finding all financial documentation of the deceased person;
- Working out all monies owed to the estate;
- Working out all monies owed from the estate;
- Applying for probate and sending documents off required by the Probate Registry and HM Revenue & Customs;
- Opening a bank account on behalf of the estate;
- Ensuring all property and post is secure;
- Collecting all assets and money due to the estate;
- Distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries as set out within the Will;
- Ensuring tax forms are completed and that the correct inheritance tax , capital gains tax (if any asset increases in value during probate) and income tax;
- Arranging the funeral;
- Can you have more than one?: Yes you can in fact have up to four executors to share the responsibility out but all decisions must be made jointly. Most people will appoint at least one or two main Executor(s) with substitute executor(s);
- Who can be an Executor?: Anyone who is to be appointed as an Executor must be over the age of 18 and of sound mind. Close family members, friends but you may wish to decide on a professional executor or both.
- Who should you choose?: It is really up to you but first and foremost they must be people you trust. The role requires them to be responsible, rational and fair minded.
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