A Simple Guide To Executors Of Wills

Posted on: December 15th, 2020


Your Will is an important document to sort. It will outline your beneficiaries and wishes ready for when you die. Wills can be extremely helpful for your family and those who you care about, as they clearly state how you want your estate to be handled. There can be many complexities involved when sorting out Wills, which is why it’s a good idea to seek a Wills and probate solicitor to handle it. Some of the components when organising a Will includes choosing the executor of your Will. It’s easy to become confused in the process of sorting a Will, especially when deciding on who should be appointed as your executor.

What Is An Executor?

An executor is someone that carries out the instructions that are left in your Will. When you die, they will carry out the instructions such as deciding how to handle your property, especially if your estate is left within your property. Other difficulties an executor may face also includes the right amount of Inheritance Tax is paid.

There are no restrictions on who can be your executor, so long as they’re above the age of 18. Additionally, you can appoint the same people as your executor even though they may inherit your estate also. A total of four executors can be in charge of your Will, however, it’s a good idea to avoid having that many as it’s likely they’ll need to work together to carry out your Will.

Who Should I Ask To Be My Executor?

As the role of an executor is an extremely important one, it’s advised to appoint someone who you trust. Often people appoint family members or trustworthy friends, and sometimes other professionals like solicitors. Depending on the complexity of your Will, you might want to consider appointing a professional executor to carry it out appropriately. The more complex a Will, the more beneficial it can be to have professional people to handle it as they have prior specialist knowledge.

If you believe there may be some disagreements involved with the handling of your Will, it’s absolutely vital to appoint someone you trust to follow instructions and find the right solutions. If the sound of a professional executor doesn’t appeal to you, make sure you appoint someone who is competent at handling paperwork and understanding their role.

Whoever you decide to appoint, whether a family member or friend, make sure you have their permission first before choosing them.

What Does It Mean If I’m Appointed An Executor Of A Will?

Essentially, when someone is made an executor of a Will, they are responsible for carrying out the Will in its entirety. They will deal with the deceased’s estate. In cases when an executor has not been appointed, an administrator will be responsible for handling the deceased’s estate under certain circumstances. To do this, an administrator will need to apply for letters of administration beforehand.

Some additional responsibilities an executor may be faced with when handling estates includes:

  • Sourcing all financial information of the deceased.
  • Sorting the death certificate and sending it to all relevant organisations that will require it.
  • Gaining access to the deceased’s bank account.
  • Finding out all details of money owed out by the deceased as well as owed in.
  • Have everything regarding the property and other assets prepared to handle the estate appropriately.
  • Arranging Inheritance Tax.
  • Preparing documents for the probate registry.
  • Pay off any outstanding debts and fees owed, including to solicitors.
  • Share out the estate accordingly, following the instructions outlined in the deceased’s Will.

Key Takeaways

There are many responsibilities that come with executors, however, it doesn’t need to be a confusing process for you if you have recently been appointed as one. Additionally, if you’re deciding on who you should appoint as the executor of your Will, there are factors which help make the choice clearer.

If you require any support with the handling of Wills, please contact us today and we will be happy to assist you.

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If you require any of our legal services or you're not sure where to get started, please contact us at our Redcar High Street office and our solicitors will guide you every step of the way.

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