Rights and Obligation of an Executor

An executor is the person named in a Will who the deceased wishes to administer the Estate. An executor is responsible for carrying out a will’s written directions and settling the final affairs of the will’s author, or testator. If you were named as the executor of a deceased person’s will, you are responsible for the duties and legal obligations of handling his estate. Due to the amount of work involved or other personal circumstances, you might have to resign as executor before or after you’re appointed by the probate court

An Executor takes charge of the deceased’s property and pays all outstanding debts, charges, and taxes before distributing the net assets to the beneficiaries of the Will.

The executor’s duties include auditing the deceased’s assets, obtaining valuations for assets and applying to the Supreme Court for a Grant of Probate, which is the Court Order stating that the deceased’s Will is valid and the executor can administer the estate. When applying for probate certain documents need to be completed and documentary evidence provided to the Court, such as evidence of death, proof of proper attestation of the Will, and details of assets and liabilities. . Executors should contact the beneficiaries of an estate, inform them of their entitlement, and provide a copy of the Will. Executors can also be beneficiaries under a Will. An Executor looks after the Deceased’s property, pays debts, and distributes assets to the Beneficiaries.

The precise duties fall under the following three areas:


Applying to/or attending at Court to apply for Grant of Probate
Identifying and dealing with any claims against the estate
Settling all debts and liabilities
Correctly distributing the remainder of the Estate, once all of the liabilities have been paid, in accordance with the Will or the law.

Notification and correspondence with all relevant organizations in order to gather all assets and pay all debts and charges on the Estate
Search for unclaimed or missing assets
Prepare and distribute Estate accounts to interested parties.

Completion and submission of Inheritance Tax returns and payment of any Inheritance Tax
Completion of any necessary Income and Capital Gains Tax returns and payment of any outstanding tax.
Executors can claim costs and expenses incurred in administering the estate and must keep a record of money received and paid out. If the Will does not provide for payment to the Executors, one can apply to the Supreme Court to recover costs and seek a fee. An Executor must locate the Will and find out the precise nature of the duties and powers set out in it. A Will may be with the deceased’s papers, bank, or with their solicitor. An Executor should consult the deceased’s solicitor or his own solicitor to discuss the administration of the estate.

As solicitors experienced in probate matters, we can assist by giving advice about the rights and responsibilities of an Executor; Prepare and apply for probate; and Assist in identifying and collecting the Deceased’s assets; and give advice on the possible tax liability; and give advice about the legal order in which debts must be paid and the remaining assets distributed; and give advice on the legal order of distribution of the Estate in a case where there is no Will, and Prepare the report and statement on the assets for the beneficiaries.

Please call us on 0207 183 0084 or email us on info@olaleslie.com for an Executor, advise on the administration of an estate and to ask us about any reservations or queries that you may have; we are always happy to assist.