An Executor’s duties will include the following:
• Ascertaining the deceased’s assets and debts;
• Notifying and corresponding with relevant financial institutions and other relevant organisations to gather assets;
• Paying all liabilities and administration expenses of the estate;
• Searching for unclaimed or missing assets;
• Applying for a Grant of Probate;
• Completing inheritance tax returns and paying any inheritance tax due;
• Identifying and dealing with any claims against the estate;
• Completing any income and capital gains tax returns and paying any outstanding tax;
• Distributing any legacies under the Will;
• Preparing estate accounts for the beneficiaries;
• Distributing the residue of the estate to the beneficiaries.
Do I have to act as an executor?
No. There are two ways to avoid applying for a Grant of Probate if an executor does not wish to be involved:
1. By agreeing to ‘renounce’ Probate. In this case, the executor loses the right to act in the estate forever.
2. The second option is for an executor to have ‘power reserved’. This means that they will not apply for a Grant initially but that they retain the right to do so in the future.
It should be stressed at this point that it is the right of all the named executors to apply for the Grant of Probate if they indeed wish to do so.
If an appointed executor decides to act then they must continue to act until the administration of the estate has been completed. It is not possible for an executor to retire unless they are removed by the Court.