Acting as an Executor requires a clear understanding of the responsibilities involved in the administration of one’s estate. Those include obtaining a Grant of Probate, managing the deceased person’s assets, settling their debts, and acting in the beneficiaries’ best interest. These tasks can be daunting, especially for those without the legal expertise.

In this short blog, we’ll set out the role of the Executor in more detail so you know what to expect, what will be expected of you, what support is available to help you in your role and what other options are available if you don’t want the responsibility. By the end, you’ll have the confidence to decide whether the role is right for you and your loved ones or whether you’d like to appoint a professional executor.

What are the duties of an Executor?

Even though the role of an Executor is a noble one, you need to be aware of various duties Executors need to fulfil to ensure a proper administration of the estate. These duties are

  • Verifying the validity of the Will
  • Applying for probate to obtain the legal authority from the court to deal with the estate
  • Managing assets until distribution is made to the entitled beneficiaries.
  • Settling any outstanding debts and liabilities
  • Filing tax returns (if required) and paying applicable tax, such as income tax, inheritance tax, and capital gains tax
  • Maintaining accurate records of all transactions, correspondence, and decisions made during the process.

What are the risks associated with becoming an executor?

There are various risks to consider before becoming an executor:

  • Executors must comply with legal obligations, risking disputes and actions taken against them if they fail to do so
  • Mishandling finances can result in losses for the estate and personal liability to you as an Executor
  • Understanding the tax is important and that not complying with the requirements can result in penalties and enquiries from HMRC
  • Executors can be held accountable for mistakes or negligence, leading to financial consequences
  • There can be a lot of emotional strain due to dealing with potential family conflicts
  • Estate administration is a lengthy process, which requires a lot of time and effort, which often impacts personal and professional life

Understanding these risks is crucial for prospective Executors. Seeking professional guidance can help mitigate those risks, ensuring that you as Executor and the estate are protected.

The importance of legal support

Given the complexity of some of the above duties, solicitors specialising in probate and estate administration play a crucial role in supporting Executors. They provide expert guidance, mitigate risks, and ensure compliance with legal requirements. Various testators also choose a professional Executor, such as Gorvins Solicitors, instead as it takes the burden and responsibility away from their family and friends.

Engaging or appointing a solicitor as an Executor ensures that the risk of personal liability is reduced, the interests of the beneficiaries and the estate are safeguarded, and the estate is dealt with efficiently and in accordance with the law.


If you’re looking for help with any matters pertaining to wills and estates, Gorvins expert legal team can provide you with the support and advice informed by decades of expertise. Call us today on 0161 930 5151, email us at Enquiries@gorvins.com or fill in the online form.

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