An Executor is someone named in a person’s Will, who is responsible for dealing with that person’s property, money and possessions (known as their estate) after they die. There can be more than one Executor named in a Will, and they are usually someone close to the deceased, such as a relative or close friend.
The Executor’s Responsibilities
Here is a summary of the Executor’s responsibilities. For further information on your responsibilities as an Executor, or for advice on any other Probate and Estate Management matter, please contact us.
- Inform next of kin, close family and any potential heirs of the death and that you are an Executor.
- If necessary, register the death and assist with funeral arrangements.
- Appoint a solicitor.
- Obtain a copy of the Will (only carry out the instructions about legacies once Probate has been granted and the estate’s liabilities are settled).
- Ensure assets are listed and if necessary made secure, for example locating house keys and locking property.
- Gather together vital paperwork, including any address book of the deceased, Wills, death certificate and any certified copies, as well as personal effects such as a handbag or wallet.
- Gather all financial paperwork, such 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 advisers 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 by the Probate Registry to allow them to do this.
- Complete income tax returns if needed.
- Obtain advice regarding Inheritance Tax issues.
- Pay off any outstanding debts.
- Distribute the contents of the estate in accordance with the instructions set out in the Will.
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Established in 1921, Owen White & Catlin have been helping Executors based in South West London, Surrey and Middlesex carry out their duties for many years. Our offices are staffed by teams of expert solicitors and support staff, making it easy for you to get in touch when you need us. Contact us using our online