What is the role of the executor(s)?
The executor(s) of your Will are named by you at the time of creating your Will. The executor(s) can be a family member, a trusted friend or a professional such as a solicitor or an accountant. If you decide to use a professional, your solicitor may insert a clause in the Will to provide that this professional executor receives payment for any professional services involved in the administration of your estate.
The executor(s) can also be a beneficiary of your estate. This means they may receive property, money or a gift from your Will. They must be over 18 and have decision-making capacity to be able to act as an executor. It is important that you get the agreement of the person/people you want to act as your executor(s). The executor(s) has a duty to deal with your estate after you die. They must:
- Gather your possessions and your money
- Pay your funeral expenses and any other expenses that may arise from their role in administering to your estate
- Pay the debts you owe
- Pay specific legacies/gifts to the named people in your Will and then
- Distribute what is left to the people who are entitled to it
At the time of your death, the executor(s) will usually have to get legal permission from the Probate Office or the District Probate Registry in the area in which you lived at the time of your death in order to carry out their duties. Permission comes in the form of a document called a Grant of Representation (usually where there is no Will) or a Grant of Probate (where there is a Will).