My late aunt appointed me as executor in her will. My brothers and I have inherited her entire estate. I am unsure of what is expected of me. What exactly is an executor and what do they do? Please explain an executor’s duties to me.
The executor of a will is the person named by the maker of a will (Testator) to carry out the directions of the will. The executor is obliged by law to preserve, protect and administer the estate of the deceased person strictly in accordance with the terms of the will.
An executor’s main duties include the following:
- Ensure that a death certificate is obtained.
- Ascertain the extent of the deceased person’s estate.
- Ensure that all debts owed by the deceased at the time of death are accounted for and paid out of the estate. The executor must also ensure that all funeral expenses are paid.
- Trace all of the beneficiaries outlined in the deceased person’s Will.
- Ensure that the deceased person’s estate is correctly and properly valued for Revenue purposes.
- Protect the assets of the estate until they are distributed e.g. ensure that any house or other such property is adequately insured.
- When the Grant of Probate has issued, the Executor must distribute the assets in accordance with the terms of the Will.
- When the estate is finalised and all bequests have been settled, the Executor must produce a set of Estate Accounts which outlines all money received and paid out.
Generally your Solicitor will assist you each of the above. It is advisable to consult with a Solicitor as soon as possible after the death of the Testator to commence the administration process.