Here is a summary of the Executor's responsibilities. For further information, consult our guide attached.
- Inform next of kin, close family and any potential heirs of the death and that you are an Executor.
- Appoint a solicitor.
- Obtain a copy of the will and carry out instructions within.
- If necessary, register the death and assist with funeral arrangements.
- Ensure assets are listed and if necessary made secure, for example, locating house keys and locking property.
- Gather together vital paperwork, address book of deceased, Wills, death certificate and any certified copies, personal effects such as handbag or wallet.
- Gather all financial paperwork such as cheque books, bank statements, paying in books, credit card details, building society books, mortgage details and any cash.
- Locate life insurance policies and paperwork such as membership forms, shares and stocks, bonds and pension information.
- Find all household bills including those that are unpaid.
- Collect together all tax records. At this stage do not dispose of things such as business related paperwork, tax records, wage slips etc.
- If the deceased person is a business owner you will need all paperwork relating to the business including VAT records and accounts.
- Gather details of professional advisors such as accountants, solicitors etc.
- Check if Probate is needed. When someone dies, a person must deal with their estate by collecting in money owed, paying debts and dividing the estate. Probate is a legal document issued to a person to allow them to do this. This document is known as a Grant of Representation.
- Complete income tax returns if needed.
- Obtain advice regarding inheritance tax issues.
- Pay off any outstanding debts.
- If you need to locate potential heirs or creditors then advertise in local/national papers.
- Distribute the contents of the estate.