What Does An Executor Do?

Being appointed as an Executor in a Will may seem like a privilege and position of responsibility, but it can also be quite daunting. What does an Executor do?

It is the role of an Executor to deal with all of the deceased’s affairs following their death and distribue the estate in accordance with their Will. This includes; collecting in the assets, paying the debts and testamentary expenses, dealing with any tax issues and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries.

In addition to the above, some of the other main duties of an Executor include:

  • Paying tax – including income tax, inheritance tax and capital gains tax
  • Declaring any gifts made by the deceased during their lifetime
  • Liaising with utility providers
  • Liaising with pension providers
  • Organising the clearance and sale of a property
  • Producing estate accounts for the beneficiaries
  • Providing the beneficiaries with tax certificates on interest
  • Paying interest on legacies after one year
  • Dealing with estate in a timely manner
  • Setting up any trusts that are included in the Will
  • Agreeing legal costs
  • Dealing with any claims made against the estate

Confirming The Extent Of The Estate

It is important at the outset to establish the extent of the deceased’s estate. Therefore, you need to know what the assets are such as cash, shares, property or personal belongings, secure them (make sure that they are safe e.g. that a property is insured) and determine their value at the date of death. You must also determine whether there are any debts or liabilities, and if so, what is the value of these as at the deceased’s date of death.

These figures are important as you will need to know the value of the estate as at the date of death, in order to apply for the Grant of Representation.

This can be quite a time consuming and tricky task, but if you have instructed solicitors to administer the estate on your behalf as an Executor, then they can do this for you.

Obtaining the Grant of Representation

Once you have confirmed the extent of the estate, you will need to apply for the Grant of Representation as this is likely to be needed to close or transfer certain assets, and to sell property.

The Grant of Representation is a document issued by the Probate Registry to confirm who the persons entitled to administer (the Executors) are. The application to obtain this document either needs to be made online or directly to the Probate Registry, depending on the circumstances.

It is possible that inheritance tax forms and a payment of tax may also need to be sent to HMRC.

These are all matters that solicitors can assist you with or provide advice on.

 How We Can Help

For further information regarding the above or if you would like to discuss a Wills & Probate related query with one of the team, please call us on 0800 011 6666 or e-mail the team at legal@timms-law.com.