Wills & Estates: Points to Ponder – Part 2 – Should I agree to be an Executor?

The overriding duty of an Executor is to collect in the assets of the deceased and administer the estate according to law.  

An Executor has a number of duties to fulfil including but not limited to the following:-

  • Ensuring that the death is registered as soon as possible after death. 
  • Making funeral arrangements. If there is a Will this should be checked to see if the deceased left any specific directions.
  • Taking an inventory of the assets of the deceased and informing asset holders of the death. This will involve any real estate, investments, chattels, cash, jewellery and also any digital assets held by the deceased.
  • Ensuring the assets of the estate are protected until they can be distributed. If the deceased left a property, this should be secured and adequate insurance should be maintained.
  • Liaising with asset holders to release the assets of the deceased. Each asset holder will have its own requirements in relation to release of assets and a Grant of Probate may be required.
  • Settling debts and liabilities of the deceased including tax, funeral costs and outstanding loans.
  • Identifying the beneficiaries of the estate. If there is no Will, intestacy laws will dictate who will benefit.
  • Preparing estate accounts.
  • Distributing the estate.  Once the assets of the deceased have been collected in and debts and liabilities discharged, the Executor has a duty to ensure that the estate is distributed to the correct beneficiaries.

DQ’s private client team can assist with all aspects of estate administration including providing advice and support in potentially difficult situations such as claims against estates and disputes as to the validity of Wills.

If you would like further information on this subject please contact any member of our private client team.

Libby Gordon


The information and/or opinions contained in this article is necessarily brief and general in nature and does not constitute legal or taxation advice. Appropriate legal or other professional advice should be sought for any specific matter.  Any reliance on such information and/or opinions is therefore solely at the user’s own risk and DQ Advocates Limited (and its associates and subsidiaries) is not responsible for, and does not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with any action taken or reliance placed upon such content.

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