One of our recent big successes has got us thinking about the responsibilities an executor has. In this particular case we were acting for the beneficiary in which we not only removed the executors, but thanks to our efforts they are going to have to pay our costs, and we may also have a negligence claim against them!

As you can see being an executor is no easy task, you may have previously thought that it simply involved delivering the assets in the estate to the people the deceased intended them to go to (just like giving out presents!) But it is much more of a responsibility than that!

An executor has the duty of ensuring that the estate is properly administered, and that each and every wish within the deceased’s will is fulfilled.

Some of the legal responsibilities of an executor are:

  1. Registering the death.
  2. Arranging the funeral for the deceased, and the deceased’s family, which can be a lot of pressure!
  3. Paying any inheritance tax that is owed on the estate (this is something you definitely don’t want to get wrong!)
  4. Applying for probate.
  5. Dealing with the deceased’s finances, and ensuring everything is settled as it should be.
  6. Distributing the estate (the present giving part)
  7. Keeping estate accounts. Top tip – make sure these are very detailed!

If this sounds more involved than you expected, do not fear as you are certainly not alone in underestimating the role. However, it is important that you understand the weight of the responsibilities an executor has, specifically that being an executor comes with the risk of personal liability.

If you’re trying to decide who you want to nominate to be the executors of your estate, or you are already an executor of an estate and would like to learn more about the responsibilities an executor has, please get in touch and a member of our experienced and friendly team will be happy to help!

Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The Full Service Law Firm. Always responsible, even outside of office hours!