When you are appointed as an executor in someone’s will, it usually happens many years before their death and what is required of you can be long forgotten by the time you are needed.


The British don’t tend to like talking about death. So when someone has appointed you as their executor it is quite likely that the information about what this entails may have been glossed over or just mentioned in passing without you fully understanding what your responsibilities are.


Being an executor brings great responsibility at a difficult time when you may struggle to feel up to the job. For some people taking care of their lost one’s finances, legal affairs and funeral plan gives them something to focus on and busy themselves with during their initial grief.


Either way, Lamb Brooks Solicitors are here every step of the way to support you as an executor and ensure that your loved ones wishes are dealt with professionally, promptly and with sympathetic understanding at all times.


A Quick Reminder of Executor’s Duties


Registering the Death


A relative should register the death within 5 days. If you are an executor but not a family member then you can register the death if a relative isn’t able to. More information on what to take with you and how to make an appointment can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/register-a-death


Locating the Will


Once you have the death certificate you will need to access the will. If this was made with Lamb Brooks then it will be in our secure ‘strong room’ and can be made ready for you to collect upon contacting us. If you have trouble locating the will, try calling solicitors local to the deceased or checking the national will register.


Keep scrolling for further responsibilities of executors…

Managing and Locating their Assets


You are responsible for ensuring that properties and vehicles are secured along with tracking down assets owned by the deceased – such as investments, savings, bank accounts etc.


Paying bills, debts and Inheritance Tax


It is a good idea to ensure that any bills and outstanding debts are paid off and that creditors are informed of the death. If the deceased estate is valued over £325,000 and it is not being left to a spouse, civil partner or charity then you may need to pay an inheritance tax bill. If you pay for anything with your own money then keep a detailed record of this.


Contacting Beneficiaries

Executors are responsible for contacting beneficiaries of the estate and ensuring that funds or assets are distributed in accordance to the will.


Administration and Grant of Probate


Here is where things can get quite complex. As mentioned at the beginning of this article at a time where you are going through grief and stress, you may find that enlisting the help of a trusted probate solicitor makes this process much easier. It is very important that the forms are completed accurately and that the calculations are all correct to avoid delaying the process or incurring charges for errors made.


Losing a loved one is never easy and with the additional responsibilities of being an executor alongside continuing your day-to-day life it can help to have guidance from experienced solicitors who can take care of part of the process and allow you to focus on the more personal aspects.


For information on executor duties, wills or for assistance with a death in the family please call our understanding and reliable team on 01256 844888 or email enquiries@lambbrooks.com


Other Articles you may be interested in reading:

Taking Care of a Property When Someone Dies

A Quick Guide to Making a Will

Using a Solicitor Vs Using a Will Writer



The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.