Choosing an executor


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The executor of an estate is responsible for overseeing your property, possessions and money after you die. They will ensure that your belongings are shared out according to your will.

Choosing an executor, or executors, is an important decision when you make a will. They must be someone reliable, trustworthy and capable of dealing with their legal duties.

What are the duties of an executor?

The executor is responsible for managing your estate when you’re gone. Their duties may include:

  • Arranging and paying for the funeral
  • Applying for probate, which will give the executor the legal authority to oversee the estate
  • Gathering together information about assets, property, money and debts belonging to the estate
  • Calculating the total value of the estate and whether Inheritance Tax needs to be paid
  • Completing Inheritance Tax forms
  • Making sure any outstanding debts are paid from the estate
  • Notifying all relevant organisations of your death, including HMRC, DWP, local councils and utility companies

How do I name an executor?

You can name an executor, or executors, by making a last will and testament.

If the person or people you name as executors pass away, you should update your will with a codicil to name a new executor.

What if they don’t want to be an executor?

In most cases, named executors do not have to be an executor if they don’t want to. They can sign a Renunciation document, which lets them resign from the role.

In this case, the role of executor may be taken over by a solicitor or legal services.

Find out more about making a will or updating an existing will.