Being an Executor is an enormous, time-consuming responsibility. The executor of a Will is responsible for carrying out the wishes of a person after they die. The role of the executor is to manage the estate within the terms of the Will and protect the assets of the estate. The executor of an estate must comply with various laws and rules that govern the administration of deceased estates.
Many people when nominated as an executor are unsure of what is expected of them. The duties of an executor can be complex and demanding and require an understanding of the law, tax and accounting requirements.
There are many steps involved in being an executor. The duties of an executor may include:
You can appoint anyone to the role of executor. Most people usually nominate a family member and/or beneficiaries of the Will. Executors should be people trusted by the testator and they need good business and organisational skills. An alternative to appointing a family member or friend is to appoint an independent trustee company as Executor or co-Executor. A trustee company can expertly and impartially co-ordinate all legal, administrative, investment and tax requirements to ensure an estate is distributed efficiently.
Although appointing a family member or friend for no remuneration is one way to contain estate administration costs, seldom do executors complete the administration themselves, drawing on the expertise of solicitors, accountants and other professionals (with associated additional costs). They can also apply to the Court to receive payment for executorial duties and executor’s commission.
Having specialist executor services can also help avoid family drama, conflicts of interest and other concerns.
Our friends and partners Equity Trustees have put together a simple yet comprehensive toolkit for Executors that we think is worth a look. It’s useful to make yourself aware of these matters even if you’re not currently an Executor or don’t have a will.
It’s free and easy – simply click the picture below to get your free Executor Toolkit today!