Being an Executor of a Will Q&A

We participated in Solicitors Chat on Twitter answering questions about being named as an Executor and the role of an Executor entails.

Our Chartered Legal Executive, Janine Guthrie, was on hand to provide some much needed guidance.

We’ve set out our answers out below.

  1. What are the key things to think about if you’ve been asked to be an executor of someone’s will? 

You will need to consider whether to instruct a solicitor to deal with the administration of the estate for you. This can include registering the death, obtaining copies of the death certificate and arranging the funeral.

You would need to find out if the deceased made a Will and where that Will was kept and ensure that it was the latest Will

  1. What are the main responsibilities of an executor?

The main responsibilities would include:

  • Notifying all interested parties of the death (e.g. all assets holders)
  • Establishing the extent of the estate including both assets and liabilities
  • Preparing inheritance tax accounts and paying inheritance tax where applicable
  • Preparing a Statement of Truth
  • Gathering in all the assets
  • Preparing estate accounts
  • Distributing the balance of the estate to the named beneficiaries in accordance with the Will
  1. Does the person making the will need your permission to name you as executor?

No, but it is sensible to ask their permission.

  1. Who can be an executor and does being one mean you can’t be a beneficiary?

Anyone over the age of 18 years old can be an executor. You can be an executor and a beneficiary and sometimes it is sensible to appoint beneficiaries as the executors as they have a vested interest in dealing with the estate as quickly as possible.

  1. Can you change your mind about being named executor?

You can renounce your role provided that you have not already started acting in that role and provided that the Testator has already died.

For more advice or to arrange a consultation about creating or updating your Will, contact us today on 0800 158 4147 and put your mind at ease.

To contact us please call 0800 158 4147 or 03330 145451 or email

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