An executor is someone that has the legal responsibility of dealing with the set of instructions that exist in the content of a persons will. Executors are often pre-selected at the time of writing the will. Alternatively, if a person has died without leaving a will, then an administrator can apply for something called a grant of representation to manage the affairs of the estate. The administrator would often be a next of kin.
Grant Of Representation
If you have been named as the executor of a will following the death of a person, the first step is to apply to become a personal representative and receive the grant of representation. This gives you the legal authority to take control of the person’s estate and gives you access to otherwise confidential information such as bank accounts.
It is essential to fill out a PA1 form which you can download from the Justice website. Be prepared for a delay of several weeks before you’ll receive the grant of representation. You will also need to swear an oath as part of the process.
Once you have received the grant of representation, you should identify which organisations you need to contact for information about the accounts of the deceased. You can then send copies of both the grant and the death certificate in order for them to release details to you.
Paying Debts And Inheritance Tax
It is the responsibility of the executor to collect or sell the assets of the deceased and pay inheritance tax on them. You are also required to pay off outstanding debts such as credit card or utility bills.
Distribution Of Possessions
Executors will also need to allocate the possessions and finances to those beneficiaries who are entitled to them, according to the law. Recipients who have been personally named in the will shall inherit that which is stated. However, if there is no will then the executor must follow the rules of intestacy which sets out who is entitled to the estate.
Being an executor can feel like an overwhelming job, but help is at hand with the Probate and Inheritance Tax helpline on 0300 123 1072 who can answer any queries that you may have about your duties.