The Role of Executors

Your Executors are the people who are named in your Will whose job it will be to administer your Estate after your death. They will need to ascertain the value of your Estate - what your Assets and Liabilities were, and when they have that information they complete the required HMRC returns, pay any inheritance tax due, and then obtain the Grant of Probate. When they have the Grant they can distribute your worldly goods to the beneficiaries nominated in your Will.


Your Single Will

Create your own will in just 5 minutes with our simple online tool!

Every Will is checked by our expert Will Team to ensure that everything makes sense, and should we find any aspect that is less than clear, we'll contact you via email to discuss.


Superior Will Upgrade

Upgrade your Will for an extra £15. With the Superior Will Package we'll print your Will on high quality paper. Then, to protect your Will against getting accidentally damaged, we'll bind it with an acetate front cover and card rear cover. Your Will will be securely bound together with tamper-proof rivets, then posted to you via RM 1st Class post for your safe-keeping.

Appointing an Executor When you start to think about a Will, your first consideration is who you want to act as your “Executor(s)”. You can nominate a minimum of one Executor, and a maximum of four, although since this is such an important role, great care and thought should be given to who you would like to Act. Very often, in the case of a married couple, each spouse would nominate the surviving spouse to be their Executor; though you may wish to nominate a friend or member(s) of your family to act as your Executors. A professional Executor could be appointed, but you should bear in mind that there will always be costs associated, so we recommend that if you elect to take this route that you choose a Professional who will do the work of Estate Adminstration for a fixed fee.


Often Married couples or Civil Partners nominate their surviving spouse to act as their Executor, but you should always nominate a reserve(s) Executors to act should the survivor be unwilling or unable to Act. You might also consider appointing a Professional Executor as a fall back or reserve Executor if all the nominated Executors die before you or at the same time, or simply unwilling or unable to Act.

Either way, it would be wise to appoint Executors who are likely to outlive you. For example, we would suggest that you do not appoint your parents or older siblings. Also, from a practical viewpoint, it would make sense not to choose a relative or friend to Act for your Estate should they live in Timbuktu or some other far flung place, as they may well need to spend some considerable time in the UK in order to carry out their role as Executors of Estates. If they are Acting jointly with another Executor, considerable time may also be lost should documents need to be posted across the world for an non UK based Executors signature.

Beneficiaries can also be nominated to Act as Executors and it makes sense to appoint as Executors someone that knows you and have an idea of your wishes in advance. If you are married or in a relationship living as a partner and making a Mirror Will it is normal for you to appoint the surviving spouse or partner as first Executor. Your adult children may also act as Executors. If you are in a situation where you do not feel that you have anybody who you feel suitable to act as your Executors, or if you would prefer not to use someone who knows you, then you should instruct a professional.

The Executors Role When a person dies the Executors role broadly twofold:

Primarily, the Executors role is to distribute the deceased's Estate as per the wishes outlined in the Will, but before assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries, the Executors will need to establish exactly what property and money that the Estate is comprised of. The Executors will need to write to any financial institution that holds assets or liabilities on behalf of the deceased and notify them of the death. To prove the death, the Executors will normally need to provide an original or certified Death Certificate. Any debts the deceased may of had, for example unpaid tax, mortgages or loans, need to be accounted for and settled and the Executors will also need to establish if there were any outstanding sums due to the Estate, such as life assurance, deferred or unpaid pensions etc etc.

When all assets have been ascertained and liabilities for the Estate have been paid, the Executors next duty which is normally to obtain a legal document called a Grant of Representation from the Probate Registry.