Do You Really Want to be an Executor of a Will?
It depends if you want to carry out the duties and responsibilities that fall on the Executor. If you’re happy to be the Executor and are willing to be the point of contact for all of your loved ones Estate administration, you will need to apply to the Probate Registry (Court) for a Grant of Probate.
If you don’t want to be an Executor but you are named as one in a Will, you can decline the role. If there is a second Executor named in the Will, the duties and responsibilities will fall to them. If you are the only named Executor, the residual beneficiary can be appointed as the Personal Representative of the Estate or the Court can appoint a Personal Representative or an Estate Administrator, but this may take a long time and be expensive.
A quicker and cheaper option is for our Probate Solicitors to apply for a Grant of Probate on your behalf, for a Fixed Fee, which can be paid for by the Estate.
For free initial legal advice get in touch with our Probate Solicitors.
What Does an Executor Do?
An Executor is responsible for dealing with the Estate assets and the Estate Administration which includes dealing with HMRC. Any wishes outlined in the deceased persons Will are the Executor’s responsibility to deal with in accordance with the law. This includes:
- Registering the death and providing official documentation
- Collecting and valuing all assets such as property, possessions and investments
- Calculating and paying any Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax or Income Tax due
- Calculating and paying any liabilities or debts such as loans, utility bills and council tax
- Making sure that any beneficiaries receive what they have been left in the Will
- Preparing complete Estate accounts
In England and Wales, as Executor, you will have the legal authority over your loved one's Estate. There can be up to 4 Executors of one Will, meaning you may share responsibility. Although it can be helpful, it can also cause difficulties when dealing with the complex financial parts of Probate and Estate Administration. This is one of the reasons why many people choose to instruct a Probate Solicitor to deal with everything for them. See Full Probate Service.
Don’t Want to be an Executor?
You can renounce (resign) your role as an Executor. To do this you need to sign a Deed of Renunciation and send it to the Probate Registry. A Probate Solicitor can draw up a Deed of Renunciation for you to sign to officially renounce your role as the Executor of a Will.
Once you have renounced your authority over the Will, you can’t get it back, so it’s important to take that into consideration before you start the process.
We recommend that if you want to renounce your role as Executor that you do it as soon as possible in the Probate process. If you begin dealing with property and assets, it can become a very complicate process to renounce your title as Executor.
Do Want to be an Executor?
If you’re ready to take on the role of Executor, it’s best to contact a Probate Solicitor who can help you complete the Probate process which may take a year. Being an Executor can be stressful and daunting, and you can be held liable for any mistakes made, but with expert legal support it will be much easier than going it alone.
How Simpson Millar Can Help You
Our Probate Solicitors can do as much or as little of the work that you require. We can only apply for the Grant of Probate, support you on an hourly rate basis, or deal with everything on your behalf.
Ask about our Fixed Fee options in uncontested Probate cases.
If you are unsure if you want to take on the responsibility of being an Executor of a Will, one of our Probate Solicitors can discuss your concerns and help you decide what is best for you.
For free legal advice call our Probate Solicitors
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.