What is an Executor of a Will?
An Executor is the person named in a Will who sorts out the estate of the person who’s died. Your ‘estate’ is everything you own (your money, property and possessions). An executor has a legal responsibility to carry out the instructions left in a Will.
What are the duties of an Executor?
When dealing with an Estate, an Executor deals with many legal, tax and administrative duties. The duties can include:
Registering the death
Arranging the funeral
Valuing the estate
Paying any inheritance tax
Applying for probate
Sorting the deceased's finances
Placing a deceased estates notice
Distributing the estate
Keeping estate accounts
Can an Executor benefit from a Will?
Yes, an Executor can benefit from a Will if they’ve been named a ‘Beneficiary’ of the Will. Beneficiaries are the people you want to inherit your ‘estate’ (these are your assets and possessions) after you die.
Can an Executor change a Will?
An Executor can change a person’s Will after their death – but only if other beneficiaries of the Will agree. To change a Will, you’ll need to make a ‘deed of variation’. This deed allows you to rearrange and vary what beneficiaries will inherit.
How to give up being an Executor?
To give up being an Executor, you’ll need to sign a document called a ‘Deed of Renunciation’. This must be signed and completed before an impartial witness. Signing this means you resign as an Executor and free yourself from the responsibility of dealing with the Estate.
How long does the Executor have to settle an Estate?
There is no set time limit in which an Executor has to settle an Estate. But there is a deadline for the Executor to submit the Inheritance Tax form. Most estates take Executors around 9-12 months to settle. But it can take longer, depending on the complexity of the Estate and the efficiency of the Executor.
Should an Executor have a copy of the Will?
Executors are often told where the original Will has been stored or are trusted to keep the Will in safe place. If the Will was prepared by a solicitor or Will writer, they may have the original document stored safely. Executors will need to access the original copy of the Will, so they can deal with the Estate of the deceased.
Can one Executor act without the other?
If the Will has appointed one or more joint Executors, one Executor can’t act without other. These Executors will need to act together unless the other Executor(s) resign from their role. If someone is named as the sole Executor in the Will, then they can act alone.
What expenses can an Executor claim?
Executors can claim back certain expenses when dealing with an Estate. There isn’t an exact list of what expenses can be claimed, but the following can be considered:
- Postage costs
- Paying off utility bills
- Maintenance to any property
- Valuations for asset
- Clearing costs
- Cleaning costs