What Is My Role As An Executor?
10 important steps that every Executor should take after someone dies
When someone writes a Will, they will usually appoint an Executor who is legally responsible for their money, property and possessions after they die.
Luke Smyth, Wills & Probate Solicitor at Ellis-Fermor & Negus, shares 10 important steps that every Executor should take after someone dies:
- Firstly, you will need to register the death with a registrar and obtain the death certificate. We would recommend asking for 2 to 4 copies. The registrar will also give you a certificate for burial or cremation which should then be passed to the undertaker during the funeral arrangements.
- Make use of the ‘Tell Us Once’ service via gov.uk which lets you report a death to most government organisations in one go.
- You will also need to inform other organisations such as banks, building societies, employers, utility providers, subscription services, pension providers and creditors.
- You will need to find the original Will and ensure that it is the most recent one written by the deceased.
- The Executor usually arranges the funeral which is paid for by the deceased’s estate (everything they own). You may also want to check whether the funeral has been prepaid. The Will might confirm funeral wishes so it is important that you do find the Will and confirm these details before finalising any arrangements.
- The next step is to value the deceased’s assets so that you can pay any Inheritance Tax. You will need to obtain valuations for financial investments, property and personal possessions. You will also need to find out if there were any debts such as loans or credit cards.
- Once everything has been valued, you will need to complete the appropriate Inheritance Tax forms and, if necessary, pay the tax. Inheritance Tax should be paid within 6 months of the person’s death or interest may be payable.
- You may need to apply for a Grant of Probate which is a court issued document that confirms the validity of the Will and officially confirms the appointment of the Executors. You will always need a Grant of Probate if the deceased was the sole owner of a property. As the Executor, you can either apply for the Grant of Probate personally or a solicitor can help with this. It is important to note that if there is Inheritance Tax to pay, this will need to be paid before the Grant of Probate can be issued.
- As an Executor, you are responsible for dealing with any claims against the estate and you are personally liable to settle any debts. You may wish to lodge a notice in the paper to alert any creditors that the person has died.
- Once the Grant of Probate has been issued you can register this with any relevant financial institutions and collect in cash assets such as savings. Any debts can then be repaid. You should keep a record of your decisions and transactions as you may be required to give account to the beneficiaries.
At Ellis-Fermor & Negus, we can help you with the entire process of dealing with a person’s estate. Our dedicated team of specialist solicitors have a wealth of experience and are happy to help. We know that dealing with an estate can be difficult and there are complex and technical aspects that our team are able to assist with.
Contact Luke Smyth at Luke.Smyth@ellis-fermor.co.uk or call on 0115 972 5222.Back to News