So you have been appointed to be an executor…
What does this mean? Firstly, being appointed as an executor means the deceased has specified in their Will that they would like you to assist with their affairs after they have passed away. In this regard, you have been entrusted with a number of duties to carry out. If there is more than one executor, you will need to get together and discuss how you are going to work together.
As an executor, your responsibility will be registering the death, obtaining death certificates, organising the funeral in accordance with the deceased’s wishes if any, collecting in all of the funds from their bank accounts and investments, identifying any valuables and obtaining the valuations, paying off any liabilities using the estate’s money and then distributing in accordance with the deceased’s Will. Often, a grant of probate is required to sell or encash assets.
If the estate is a taxable estate, you may need to raise funds to pay the inheritance tax as some, if not all, must be paid prior to obtaining the grant.
You must ensure that you safeguard yourself against personal liability and the estate against any potential claims.
Being an executor can be daunting at times, at the Owen Kenny Partnership Ltd we are available to assist you and to give you appropriate advice in plain English. If you have any queries about this legal blog, please contact our Private Client Team at our Old Market House Office on 01243 532777.