Five FAQs about executors' duties


What is an executor?

When someone dies leaving a will, they would have stated the name of the person they would like to dispose of their estate, known as the executor. If you are named as the executor of a will, you will find the help and guidance of a wills and probate solicitor essential. And a wills and probate solicitor is even more important if you are handling the estate of a person that has died intestate (without leaving a will).

Can you outline the main executors’ duties?

Initially you must apply to the probate registry to become the official representative of the estate you are to administer. If there is a valid will, you will apply for a grant of probate. If no will exists, you apply to the registry for a grant of letters of administration. Your next task is to value the estate for Inheritance Tax. Next you must pay any outstanding debts. And then lastly, arrange for any inheritances to be paid to their recipients. At each stage, a wills and probate solicitor can assist you.

How do I pay any Inheritance Tax that is due?

There are a number of ways you can pay any Inheritance Tax that is due on the estate you are administering. The money in the deceased person’s savings and other bank accounts can be used. Your wills and probate solicitor could also help you to arrange payment via the transfer of property or by selling shares the estate owns.

How do I gain access to the deceased person’s bank accounts?

As one of the most important duties of an executor is to pay any outstanding debts of the deceased, accessing their bank accounts will be essential. Your wills and probate solicitor can help you gather the documents you’ll need to present to the bank or building society to access the accounts you need.

What services can a wills and probate solicitor offer to an executor?

Few people have ever handled the administration of a will. Often, complex legal issues can present themselves as the executor follows his or her duties. This is where the help and guidance of a wills and probate solicitor can be very useful.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on executors’ duties, Caven can put you in touch with a local wills and probate solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local wills and probate solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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