Will Executor’s Duties
Being named as the executor of a Will is a serious responsibility and may place many legal obligations on you. Up to four people can be executors of one estate, so you may wish to share the responsibility with someone else.
You should also consider instructing a probate solicitor to manage the entire process on your behalf. Their expert advice will be of great benefit in ensuring the whole process runs smoothly and any arising complications are dealt with before they can cause damage.
As the executor of a will you will be expected to:
Value the Estate
The first task is to gather everything that the deceased person owned, including any business interests and their share of anything that was owned jointly, and place a total value on everything.
Deal with Revenue and Customs
Inheritance tax is payable at 40% of any value over £325,000. A tax return must be completed on all estates, no matter how much they are worth, before access to bank accounts and other authority required to administer an estate will be granted.
If inheritance tax is payable executors may have to take out a loan or cover it themselves in the first instance.
Apply For a Grant of Representation
This is a legal document granting the authority to take charge of all the deceased person’s affairs, so they can be distributed. In most cases it will be necessary to obtain one by applying to the probate registry office and attending an interview with them before organisations such as banks will allow access to a deceased person’s accounts.
Distribute the Estate
The final step is to hand out the possessions to those who are named in a Will or are eligible under intestacy rules. This can include tracking down missing relatives and dealing with any contests made against a will.
Working with an experienced solicitor is the best way to ensure your probate runs smoothly and causes you as little stress as possible.