Have you been named an executor of a will and need help? Maybe you are writing an online will and want to know what an executor does? Chat to us online or call our probate team today on 0800 0238967 for free help.
If you have been selected as executor, it is important to understand your duties. If you are selecting an executor it is important to understand what an executor does, so that you can select the right person. In this guide we break down everything you need to know about being an executor and what you should look for when selecting one for your online will.
When someone dies and they have a will, the executor is responsible for executing the will. This means settling tax, debts, funeral costs, funeral wishes, and making sure the assets and possessions go to the correct people. The executor is generally a trusted friend, family member, or a professional firm.
It is important to remember that the person listed as executor has no power until the person in the will dies. Once the person dies, they have permission to access bank accounts, financial assets and all paperwork related to the will.
However, there are limits to the power an executor has. In short, they have to act out the wishes of the will. If they do not, they can be held criminally and financially liable. These protections are put in place so that they do not abuse this position of power and to protect the beneficiaries of the will.
The answer to this question is nearly anyone. This includes beneficiaries of the will and family members. A common misconception is that it needs to be a lawyer, this is not correct. Most people select a solicitor to be executor as they want the peace of mind of a professional handling their affairs.
With that said, choosing an executor for your will requires thought. Firstly, this person should be someone you trust. Probate can be a lengthy process and is also often quite emotional for all parties involved. Make sure you select an executor who is well organised and generally on top of their personal finances. If the executor of your will knows your beneficiaries it can help the process, but this is not mandatory. Once you have decided who you want to select, or maybe you have made a shortlist, you need to discuss this with them.
It is important to note that the person you select to be executor can always ask for legal help when the time comes.
Yes, and this is quite common. The person who is selected as executor of a will can pass their duties on to another co-executor. They can also ask a professional for help and simply oversee the process. As a last fail-safe, the beneficiaries can apply to settle the estate and act as the executors collectively.
Below we list the typical duties of an executor. This list is not exhaustive, and if you have any specific questions then give our probate team a call for free on 0800 0238967.
Guardian Angel, through its partnership with the National Bereavement Service (NBS), has a variety of fixed-price probate services. The NBS deal with bereaved families every day and have a panel of trusted lawyers. The cheapest option is not always the best solution. However, what you’ll see on the initial quote is what you will pay.
You will also have a Guardian Angel representative to ensure everything goes as smoothly as it can. Chat to us online or call our probate team today at 0800 0238967 for free help.