Duties of an Executor

The role of an Executor can be quite complicated and we hope that the following guide will help you with the complexities involved.

Here are just some of the things you will have to do:

  • If property is unoccupied after death, secure it and ensure that mains services are safe informing Insurance Company that the house is now empty. Secure the locks and get deliveries stopped, mail re-directed.
  • You may have to arrange to register the death (within five days), unless an inquest and/or post mortem is necessary, with the appropriate Registrar, and obtain the required number of death certificates (estimate this).
  • You may have to arrange the funeral, although this is usually done by the next of kin; remember there may directions in the Will.
  • Ascertain assets and liabilities and their date of death values by sending a certified copy
    death certificate to any assumed asset-holder (bank, insurance company, building society,
    etc) and any creditor (gas/electricity, council etc) and get appropriate valuations where
    necessary of antiques/pictures etc.
  •  Stop payment of any salary or pension; advise issuers of passport, driving licence, TV licence,
    credit/charge cards etc and act on their directions
  • Inform beneficiaries of their entitlement and content of the will
  • Ascertain the Inheritance Tax position (IHT) and if necessary obtain professional help
  • If necessary, arrange an Executors loan account with a bank to pay any inheritance tax
    liability if necessary
  • Unless the estate can be dealt with informally under the Small Estates Act (if no assets are
    worth more than £5,000 each – this is flexible with some banks/buildings societies).
  • Obtain and complete Probate Forms and within roughly 10 days of receiving the forms the
    Probate Registry will ask you to attend a short interview at the Probate Registry. The purpose
    of the interview is to confirm that the details contained in your application are correct.
  • Pay out the necessary legacies, administration costs, and transfer any items bequeathed by
    the Will.


  • Photocopies of death certificates may be accepted if certified by a solicitor