What are the Executor’s responsibilities?

The role of an executor carries legal responsibility. The liability not only extends to the need to pay inheritance tax  but also responsibility  for administering the estate according to the wishes of the Will and the Rules of Intestacy.  

As far as Tax is concerned executors must report the value of the estate to Revenue & Customs. Even if they believe there is no inheritance tax to pay, they must complete a form giving details of the assets and any large financial gifts given away in the seven years leading up to their death. Such gifts may attract Tax.

As executor, you are responsible for paying all the beneficiaries; however, you need to ensure all debts are honoured before any payments can be made. If you are not sure what debts may exist, you need to advertise in the London Gazette and a local paper for anyone who may have claim on the estate and then wait two months.

An Executor in a Will (including professional organisations), or Administrator in cases of Intestacy, can renounce their position. In renouncing their right they are not named on the Grant of Representation. In these circumstances someone else must be appointed to act on your behalf. You can appoint a probate specialist to take over the role.