The role of an Executor is to carry out your wishes set out in your Will.
If you do not leave a Will, the same tasks will need to be carried out by an Administrator, who will normally be your closest family member.
Both an Executor and an Administrator are Personal Representatives.
Your Executors should understand the role before he or she takes it on. They will be personally financially responsible for dealing with the administration of your estate, and can be held accountant by your creditors and beneficiaries, as well as the taxman, if they make any mistakes.
Your Executor will have to collect in your assets and pay any debts and liabilities owed before they are able to make payment of any of the gifts set out in your Will.
Your executor’s duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
· Arranging the funeral;
· Identifying and locating all the assets (money, investments, property) and liabilities of the estate;
· Paying any Inheritance Tax due;
· Applying for a Grant of Probate;
· Advertising for claims and ensuring that all claims and debts are received, assessed and paid;
· Dealing with tax returns;
· Identifying the correct beneficiaries;
· Distributing the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will;
· Transferring assets to trustees, if this is appropriate.
Depending on the value and complexity of your estate, it could take over a year, perhaps longer, to administer and wind up your estate.
Be sure that your trust your Executor to follow your instructions and deal properly with all the administration that is involving in dealing with an estate.
There will be large amounts of paperwork to be accurately completed and your Executor could be faced with complex legal issues.
Administering an estate is a demanding and time consuming task and if your Executor works full time or has a young family, they may find it difficult to cope.
Most people choose to appoint one or more family members as their Executors. Your Executors can also be beneficiaries.
It’s worth thinking about appointment replacement Executors, in case the people you have named are unable to act, or their circumstances mean that they cannot accept the role.
You can also choose to appoint a professional Executor, such as a Solicitor or Accountant.
Your chosen executor does not have to act if his or her circumstances would make it difficult for them when the time came. They could appoint an Attorney to act on their behalf, or they could renounce probate and have no further role in the administration of your estate.
If you have any unanswered questions about appointing an Executor, please: