Executors: what to do if you are named in a Will

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Duties of an Executor

The people appointed to deal with the estate under the terms of a Will are known as the Executors (there may be one or more).

The role of the executor

An executor fulfils a very important role when administrating an estate, as they take on responsibility for dealing with the estate assets and distributing them in accordance with the terms of the Will.

Executor who has died or does not want to act

Sometimes an Executor maybe unwilling to act, if this is the case then the Executor will need to sign either:

i)              a Deed of Renunciation to step down.  This enables another executor mentioned in the Will or someone beneficially entitled to apply for the grant of probate, or

ii)             a Power Reserved form. This means that whilst the executor does not take part in the administration of the estate may still be entitled to come into the estate administration at a later date.

FAQ

Q1) Do I have a choice about being an executor or an administrator?

A1) Yes. You are not legally obliged to carry out the work of either an executor or an administrator.  If you do not feel able to act as Executor then we advise that you consider this before you intermeddle in the estate and assume the role.

Q2) Can I still be involved, as I had been entrusted with the role?

A2) We recognise that for many the decision as to who to name as Executor is based on a trusted personal relationship, and in order to remain responsible for the estate without having to deal with the administration itself, many Executors appoint Solicitors or other professionals to deal with this on their behalf.

Q3) Who pays the costs of Probate

A3) Professional fees are paid from the estate itself, prior to distributions to beneficiaries.  Typical costs are 1% – 4% of the estate value, depending on what assets have to be dealt with and whether any tax reporting is required.

If you are considering whether to stand as Executor, we are here to help explain your options to you – it is perfectly normal to reflect on how the appointment would impact on your own life.

Emma Fuller is head of the private client team at EHL; our solicitors in Loughborough are experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Loughborough please contact us.