Deciding to make your Last Will and Testament is just one step in the process – there are many decisions to be made and one of the most important is appointing executors.
An executor is someone named in a will, or appointed by the court, who is given the legal responsibility to take care of a deceased person’s remaining financial obligations. This means taking care of everything from disposing of property to paying bills and taxes. Most executors are immediate family members, with spouses, children and parents being the most common executors
Executors, as part of winding down an estate, will often perform the following functions, with the money to perform these duties comes from the estate itself: Distributing assets according to the will, maintaining property until the estate is settled (e.g. upkeep of a house,) paying bills for the estate, paying taxes on the estate, making court appearances for the estate and keeping estate accounts.
Once you accept the job of executor you have it for life. So as an example if HMRC have questions some years later the executor still has to deal with the matter.
If an executor feels they are not able to deal with the estate they can choose to appoint a professional to act instead.
When someone dies who has left a will with a trust in it, it is extremely important that the executors do apply for probate and do set up the trust. For example, complications can follow if the survivor of a couple needs care and the trust hasn’t been set up then all the deceased estate can be taken for care costs which was not the intention.
We are available to give more bespoke advice to you about the issue of executors – just get in touch.