An executor is the person responsible for carrying out various tasks on behalf of a deceased person’s estate. Their responsibilities include:
1. Arranging for the proper disposal of the deceased’s body
2. Notifying the beneficiaries of the deceased’s passing
3. Obtaining a Grant of Probate from the Court
4. Collecting, protecting and auditing the deceased’s assets
5. Ascertaining the debts and liabilities of the estate
6. Defending the Will of the deceased where court proceedings are commenced against the estate
7. Distributing the estate
8. Completing income tax returns
9. If the Will creates any trusts (such as trusts for minors or testamentary trusts) and the executor has also been appointed the trustee of the trusts, then the Executor must set the relevant estate funds or assets aside and register the assets in the executor’s name as trustee of the trusts. The executor must then administer the trusts in accordance with the terms of the Will
10. Preparing estate accounts
Usually a major beneficiary is appointed as an executor. However an executor can be a someone you trust, who will act responsibly, and who has agreed to be your executor.
Appointing someone younger than yourself, or appointing more than one executor can act as a safeguard against your appointment becoming void in circumstances where your executor is unable or unwilling to act.