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What are an executor’s duties?

What are an executor’s duties?

An executor is essentially the deceased’s representative, who is trusted to ensure that the deceased’s wishes as set out in their Will are fulfilled (or, in the event of intestacy, to divide the estate according to the rules of intestacy).

The executor’s key duties in distributing the estate are to:

  • Create an inventory of all of the deceased’s assets, including immovable property (i.e. the deceased’s house and any other properties), furniture, cash, savings and personal possessions. This record of the estate must be precise and detailed, and so this is usually a time-consuming task for the executor. At this stage, the executor may also cancel the deceased’s direct debits and notify service providers (e.g. gas, electricity and telephone companies).
  • Pay inheritance tax and meet any debts owed by the estate. IHT will not be due on every estate. If it is, it is important that the amount due is calculated accurately.
  • Obtain confirmation (read more).
  • “Ingather” the estate. This refers to the process of obtaining payments from banks, insurance companies, individuals and any other relevant bodies or organisations who have any assets belonging to the deceased. The executor will need to provide confirmation to receive these payments.
  • Distribute the estate to the beneficiaries (i.e. “wind up” the estate; read more).

The executor will usually also have responsibility for administrative tasks such as arranging the funeral, notifying family and friends of the death, registering the death and obtaining a death certificate.

You may have been named as an executor in a deceased friend or relative’s Will but realise that acting as an executor will cause you a great deal of stress and administrative difficulty. It is important to note that executors are personally responsible for any mistakes made in carrying out the above duties. As such, if you are at all doubtful of your ability to fully and accurately carry out your duties as executor, you are strongly encouraged to obtain legal advice.

At Wilson & Fish, a specialist executry solicitor will work with you in the way that best supports you at this time. For example, you might wish to use a solicitor to complete all of the legal steps in distributing the estate so that you can focus on organising the funeral, or you may require support with just some of the steps involved. We fully appreciate the emotional burden on any executor, and you can be assured that the solicitor you work with will provide an empathetic service tailored to your needs.  

Our lawyers are proud to provide clear, practical advice to our clients. Our pricing structure is transparent, and we provide an expert service at a fair price. If you plan to proceed as an executor, it is also useful to know that any expenses you incur in carrying out your duties will be met from the deceased’s estate, including solicitors’ fees.

Wilson & Fish Expert Executry and Probate Solicitors Glasgow, Scotland

Our firm is based in Glasgow and our solicitors work with clients from across Scotland. If you are an executor and are concerned about how to carry out your duties, please do not hesitate to contact an expert executry solicitor by telephone on 0141 222 7951 or via our online form.