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The Role of an Executor

Understanding the Role of an Executor
In order to legally fulfil the obligations of the task, an Executor has to carry out certain duties. As Executor should therefore:

  • Ensure you have the last original Will of the Deceased. The Testator should have notified you as to the location of this.
  • Register the death at the Local Registry if there are no family members wishing to do so. The death must be registered in order to obtain the Death Certificate. (It is advisable to get more than one copy as it will be needed for Pension Provides, Insurance Companies etc).
  • Obtain a copy of the medical certificate indicating cause of death and a formal notice from the Doctor if the family members do not wish to do so
  • Make sure that any last wishes such as organ or body donations are carried out. This may also include planning for the funeral or cremation.
  • Ensure that all the Deceased’s debts are settled before the estate is distributed to the Beneficiaries.
  • Notify all businesses of the death (including Banks, Utility Companies etc).
  • Make a list of all the assets of the estate – including personal & real property, bank accounts, investments, debts, loans and more.
  • Locate all the heirs
  • Arrange care or placement of children (if necessary)
  • Distribute the contents of the Will
  • Complete the relevant forms and submit them to the Local Probate Registry to obtain the Grant of Probate
  • Pay the Deceased’s Tax and pay any Inheritance Tax necessary
  • Produce a full set of accounts for the Beneficiaries

Appointing an Executor
An Executor is an individual chosen by you to carry out your wishes as stated in the Will. People often appoint their spouse, partner or children as Executors as they can be Beneficiaries under the Will. Before naming this chosen individual in your Will, please ensure that they are willing to take on this role, as it can involve a lot of responsibility.

You are able to name more than one Executor, which may be favourable to some as it makes the responsibility of the Executors easier through sharing the duties at such a hard time.

You should also note that if the estate is large or complicated, it may be beneficial to appoint a Professional Executor. A Professional Executor (Solicitors, Accountants, Bank Managers) charge between 3 – 5% of the value of the estate for the work that they do.

Choice of Executors
You have the choice as to who should be your Executor – whether it should be an individual or shared between a few people – and whether it should be handled by those nearest to you or professionals. You have the option of:

  • Individuals
  • Trust Corporation
  • Professional People (Solicitor, Bank Manager, Accountant)

If you have any questions regarding the above information and would like to speak to a professional, please give our team a call on 0845 8948 441 or email gavin@willprotect.co.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.