What Is The Role Of An Executor?

Elderly Man on Bench

‘What Is The Role Of An Executor?’ Trainee Solicitor, Connor Ball-Wood explains in his latest Wills & Probate Blog….

Executors are appointed by the deceased in their Will. As an executor you are responsible for sorting out the estate, for example closing bank accounts, paying any debts, paying inheritance tax if applicable and distributing the estate according to the Will.

The Role Of An Executor – The Estate

An estate is the term used for everything owned by a person who has passed away. An estate may include things like:

• Their home and any other properties they own.
• Cash and money in current and saving accounts.
• Shares and ISAs.
• Personal possessions including their car, electronics, collectables.

Firstly, the executors must establish the assets of the deceased and whether there were any debts owing including utility bills, mortgages, loans or credit cards etc.

The Role Of An Executor – Grant Of Probate

Once the assets and liabilities have been determined, the next step is to apply for the Grant of Probate. The Grant of Probate confirms the appointment of the executors of the estate and allows them to close and transfer assets and to sell any property owned by the deceased.

The executors may wish to instruct a solicitor to apply for the Grant of Probate or deal with the whole administration of the estate.
If the estate value exceeds the ‘nil rate bands’ then Inheritance Tax will also be payable which is the responsibility of the executors. Inheritance Tax must be paid by the end of the sixth month after the person’s death. The government website for ‘nil rate bands’ can be found at https://www.gov.uk/inheritance-tax 

The Role Of An Executor – Summary

To summarise, the main duties of an executor or executors include:

• Pay all debts and expenses.
• Pay any taxes that are due including inheritance tax, income tax and capital gains tax.
• Keeping assets insured and safe.
• Distributing the estate in accordance with the Will.
• Contacting utility providers to close accounts and inform them that the property is empty.
• Contacting pension providers.
• Organising the clearance of any property.
• Signing all forms and transfers.
• Declaring information to be true and correct.
• Producing a set of accounts for the beneficiaries.
• Providing the beneficiaries with tax certificates on interest.
• Pay interest on legacies after one year.
• Dealing with estate in a timely manner.
• Setting up any trusts that are included in the Will.
• Dealing with any claims made against the estate.

Appointing solicitors can reduce the pressure and demands on the executors and they can have confidence in knowing that the estate is being administered in accordance to law.

For further information please contact the Wills & Probate team or call me directly on 01332 364436 or via email at c.ball-wood@timms-law.com

Connor Ball-Wood

Connor Ball-Wood

September 2022


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