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What do executors do

Whether you’re an executor for someone’s estate, or you’re looking to choose executors for your own will, it can seem complicated and confusing.

What is an executor?

An executor is a person named in a will who sorts out the deceased person’s estate

How do I choose executors for my will?

When you make a will, you need to choose your executor(s). Being an executor can involve a lot of work and responsibility, so think carefully about who you choose. Explain what’s involved and check that they’re willing to act on your behalf.

Who should I choose to be an executor?

It could be a friend or family member. They don’t have to be related to you but it should be someone that you feel you can trust and who is willing to take on the responsibility of the role.The people you choose can inherit something from your will.

You may wish to point them towards How to be an executor to read more about the role.

Can I have more than one executor?

It’s a good idea to choose at least two executors, so they can share the responsibility and also in case one of them dies before you.

What if I don’t have anyone who can be an executor?

If you don’t have anyone that you feel would be suitable, or your family and friends don’t want to take on the role, you could appoint a professional executor, such as a solicitor or an accountant. This can be especially useful if your estate is particularly large or complicated. A professional executor will charge for their services and this will be paid for out of your estate.

I’m an executor – what do I do?

If you’re the executor of the estate you’ll have a number of responsibilities, such as:

  • applying for probate
  • valuing the estate
  • ensuring inheritance tax is paid
  • distributing the estate according to the will.

You can claim expenses from the estate for this work.

Further information

To find out more about your responsibilities as an executor, read our free leaflet and factsheet below.

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