The Executor's Role

Know Your Duties

As Executor(s) you are the person(s) primarily responsible for the administering of the estate.  Although this is by no means an exhaustive list, your responsibilities as Executor(s) include the following:

  • Making arrangements for the disposition of the body and for funeral, memorial or other similar services.

  • Determining the names and addresses of those beneficially entitled in the estate property and notifying them of their interests.

  • Arrangement with a bank or other financial institution for a list of the contents of any safety deposit box(es).

  • Determining the full nature and value of property and debts of the deceased as at the date of death and compiling a list, including the value of all land and buildings and a summary of outstanding mortgages, leases and other encumbrances.

  • Examining existing insurance policies, advising insurance companies of the death and placing additional insurance, if necessary.

  • Protecting or securing the safety of any estate property.

  • Providing for protection and safeguarding of vacant land and buildings.

  • Arranging for the proper management of the estate property, including continuing business operations, taking control of property and selling property.

  • Retaining a lawyer to advise on the administration of the estate, to apply for a grant from the probate registry or to bring any contentious issue before the court.

  • Calculating and arranging for payment of inheritance tax (IHT).

  • Applying for any pension, annuities, death benefits, life insurance or other benefits payable to the estate.

  • Advising any joint tenancy beneficiaries of the death of the deceased.

  • Advising any designated beneficiaries of their interests under life insurance or other property passing outside the Will.

  • Arranging for the payment of debts and expenses owed by the deceased and the estate.

  • Determining whether to advertise for claimants, checking all claims and making payments as funds become available.

  • Taking steps necessary to finalize the amount payable if the legitimacy or amount of a debt is in issue.

  • Determining the income tax or other tax liability of the deceased and of the estate, filing the necessary returns and paying any tax owing before distributing the estate property.

  • Instructing your lawyer in any litigation.

  • Distributing the estate property in accordance with the will or intestacy provisions.


*Executor includes Administrator if no will

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