What Does An Executor Actually Do?

The executor of a will is critically important to the whole process, and it’s certainly not a role which should be undertaken lightly.  If you’ve been asked to be an executor, or if you’re thinking of appointing an executor in your will, you must understand all the tasks, duties and obligations the role demands.

These include:

– Registering the death with the local Registrar.
– Obtaining a copy of the death certificate and the disposal certificate, which formally allows the body of the deceased to be buried or cremated.
– Making copies of the death certificate available to banks, insurers, pension funds and other financial institutions.
– Notifying family, friends and colleagues of the death, and placing funeral notices in the press.
– Obtaining the most up to date version of the will, and making copies for all relevant parties.  The original will must be kept intact, as any alteration or damage can invalidate it.

– Arranging the payment of inheritance tax and any remaining income tax, if applicable.
– Obtaining a grant of probate from the Probate Registry, or, if you’re applying to become an Executor after the fact, obtaining a grant of administration.
– Opening up a separate bank account for money that’s paid into the estate, such as pensions death benefits or life insurance pay-outs.
– Preparing accounts to show how the estate has been divided.
– Carrying out the funeral arrangements in line with the deceased’s wishes.
– Identifying all debts, liabilities and assets in the estate and obtaining all the relevant paperwork.
– Arranging for all debts and funeral expenses to be paid out of the estate.
– Distributing the remaining assets and specific legacies and gifts in accordance with the instructions set out in the will.

– Ensuring that guardians and/or trustees have been appointed where necessary.
– Liaising with banks, utilities, tax officials and credit card companies to ensure that they are aware of the death.

As you can see, the executor has to deal with complex and often onerous tasks, so you must make sure that the right person has been appointed to the role.  You can also appoint a professional executor, who can undertake these tasks without any emotional involvement. Out probate solicitors do this a regular basis – call them on 0800 1404544 for a quote today.

Sadly, however disputes between beneficiaries or complaints against executors are becoming more common.

If you’re involved in an UK Executor Dispute, contact our specialist Solicitors today

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