What are the responsibilities of an executor?


As an executor you will be responsible for carrying out the administration of the deceased’s estate. Executors must:

  • collect all assets and money due to the deceased’s estate;
  • pay all taxes and debts from the deceased’s estate;
  • distribute the estate to beneficiaries;
  • ensure estate property is kept safe and secure.

The duties of an executor involve corresponding with the organisations involved in the deceased’s affairs, maintaining meticulous records, completing forms and being held responsible to creditors, beneficiaries and the intentions of the deceased as recorded in the will.

There are a number of legal and tax duties including applying for the grant of probate, identifying and dealing with any claims against the estate and completing/filing the appropriate HMRC tax return for the estate.

It can be said that the executor’s overriding objectives are to:

  • Identify the assets of the estate as at the date of death;
  • Identify the liabilities of the estate and pay them;
  • Distribute the estate correctly in accordance with the terms of the will.

Being appointed as an executor can be both an honour and an obligation depending on the complexity of the estate and the issues that can arise. An executor can be held responsible for a breach of their duties even if made innocently. Beneficiaries will require detailed accounts showing all the assets received and paid out during the administration of the estate. A solicitor can explain your role as executor and deal with the legal requirements in carrying out the estate administration on your behalf.

For anything further, one of our specialists would be delighted to meet you either in our office or in your own home to talk through your requirements and answer any questions. Please contact us at any time.