Help! I’ve been appointed as Executor!

So you’ve been appointed as Executor and don’t know where to start? Even if this isn’t the case right now, there’s a good chance you’ll be appointed as executor in the future – whether it’s by a parent, partner or close friend.

But what does this appointment actually mean? What are your responsibilities? Do you have to do it? In short, we’re here to answer your questions…

What is an Executor?

Firstly, an Executor is appointed to manage the estate of a deceased person. Above all they are in charge of ensuring that the instructions of the Will are followed, and all legal requirements are met. Therefore, it can be a very time consuming and difficult task depending on the complexity of the estate.

An Executor can be an individual, multiple individuals or a company. However, being appointed doesn’t mean you are obligated to take on the role.

What are an Executor’s responsibilities?

Executorship can vary from being fairy easy and straightforward to being something you wish you had never been involved with. It completely depends on the circumstances of the estate you’ve been appointed to administer.

Generally, people aren’t very forthcoming when discussing the state of their financial affairs, which means you may be in for a surprise when you actually take hold of the estate.

Management of an estate includes many tasks, such as:

  • Applying for Probate
  • Paying funeral costs
  • Paying any debts owed by the estate
  • Valuing and distributing the estate
  • Tracing and contacting beneficiaries of the Will
  • Working out and paying Inheritance Tax where owed
  • Appearing in court if required

The executor is legally obliged to carry out the instructions of the Will and act in the interest of the deceased. Depending on the complexity of the estate, it can take years to complete all of these duties.

Is there anything I can do now to make it easier?

Unfortunately, there’s not a whole host of things you can do before you act as Executor. However, there are thing that the person appointing you (the testator) can do to help:

  • Make sure that they have a list of all their bank accounts, insurance policies, investments etc. in a safe place
  • Tell you the location of their original Will and how to access it, a copy of the Will is not enough
  • Have up-to-date contact details for any beneficiaries named in the Will

I don’t want to be appointed Executor! What can I do?

Some people agree to be an executor not realising the amount of work involved. Similarly, others may not even be aware they’ve been appointed until the time comes.

In conclusion, there’s no shame in admitting that you do not want to be an executor. It can be a long and laborious process that paired with the grief of losing a loved one, can be something you don’t feel up to doing.

To alleviate these stresses, you can appoint Damsons Estate Administration at any stage of the process. We will manage the estate with the utmost respect and professionalism, relieving you of your duties and any stress these have caused.

Simply call us on 0800 088 4670 for advice and a full explanation of our Probate and Estate Administration services.



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