We recommend that you think seriously about taking on the role of an executor. If in doubt get advice from a professional before you start taking on any of the responsibilities.

26th May 2020

I’ve been appointed as an executor, what do I need to do?


It can be quite daunting to find out you’ve been appointed as an executor after a friend or relative dies. Perhaps they asked you when they were making the Will and you graciously accepted without really thinking about what it would entail or perhaps it comes as a surprise during a difficult time. For many of my clients it is a role they have never undertaken before and they often don’t know where to start.


We are always happy to offer a free no obligation appointment to executors to explain to them their role and responsibilities and how we can help. I always break down the administration of an estate into 4 stages;


Firstly, you need to ascertain the deceased assets and liabilities – what they owned and what they owed. This often involves trailing through paperwork and post and making enquiries to see what is still current. For each asset you need to obtain a ‘date of death’ valuation including for property and personal chattels.


The second stage is using the information from the first stage to apply for a grant of probate. This entails completing an Inheritance tax return to the HMRC and making a declaration to the Court that you will carry out the deceased wishes in accordance with the law. It will also involve paying any inheritance tax that might be due.


Once you have received the grant from the Court you can then proceed to stage 3, calling in the deceased’s assets and paying their debts. This is often the stage that takes the most time, all bank accounts have to be closed, chattels dealt with and if there is a property to be sold this will need to go on the market. There may also be income or capital gains tax for the estate to deal with. It is important that this stage is fully completed before moving on as executors have a personal liability for the deceased’s debts.


Finally, once all the money is in and all debts have been paid the fourth and final stage is to distribute the net estate in accordance with the Will. An executor is required to produce a set of estate accounts which should be shown to the beneficiaries so they can see how their inheritance has been calculated.


The role of an executor is one that should be taken very seriously, it can be daunting and time consuming but it is all about being organised and following the process step by step. If you have been appointed as an executor and would like to some guidance and assistance in dealing with the administration please contact us as we would be happy to help – it’s what we do.


We are always here to help so please call on 0161 928 3848 or email mch@mchaleandco.co.uk. We have face to face, video or telephone calls available respecting safe social distancing requirements.

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