Acting as an Executor
An executor or personal representative is the name given to the person appointed to administer an estate.
If the deceased made a will they have nominated a person or people to do these things for them, called executors. If the deceased did not make a will then a person with an interest in the estate can ask to be appointed, this person is called a personal representative or administrator.
If you have been appointed as an executor or personal representative, you have a very important role and it is important that you ensure that you understand your obligations and duties.
Your first duty is to ensure that the death is registered and that someone is taking appropriate steps to dispose of the deceased’s body, either arranging a funeral or making other arrangements in accordance with the deceased wishes.
You will need to preserve the deceased assets, their property, bank accounts and investments and take steps to start to identify any liabilities. You may need to arrange to physically secure a property, turn off utilities, make sure it is locked and insured and collect any personal papers that will assist you to identify assets and liabilities. You will need to notify pension providers, local authority and tax authorities that the person has died.
When you are able to value assets and liabilities you will be able to calculate inheritance tax liabilities, and if necessary apply for a Grant of Probate (see Apply for Grant of Probate) or Letters of Administration (see Intestacy) and arrange to pay the inheritance tax.