“What does an Executor do?”
“What does an Executor do exactly?” – This is a question I often get asked, and it’s an important one!
The role of the Executor is to administer your Estate after your day. Put simply, they are the persons responsible for making sure your Will instructions are carried out, that your bills are paid, that all your accounts are closed off, property/shares/cars sold if applicable, and assets legally vested in the beneficiaries named in your Will. Sounds simple, right?
Top Tips for choosing an Executor:
Some points to note when considering who to appoint as an Executor:
- Most people appoint one or two Executors. It would be unusual to have more than three.
- A family member or other beneficiary are often named as Executors in a Will.
- To confirm, an Executor can be a beneficiary.
- The person must have capacity to take on the role.
- Ideally, you would appoint someone living in Ireland.
- If you appoint a professional, e.g. a solicitor or accountant to be one of your Executors, a charging clause will be included in the Will so that they get paid for their professional work in administration of your Estate.
- You must tell your Executor you have appointed them, and tell them where they can find your original Will.
The Executor’s Duties:
- First and foremost, the Executor must ensure the Deceased’s remains are dealt with. A person making a Will (the Testator) would often specify wishes re: burial/cremation in their Will, and may have discussed things with their family;
- Next the Executor gathers in details of all assets and liabilities, getting valuations of all assets as at the date of death, and a list of all funeral and administration expenses, to insert in the Inland Revenue Affidavit. If a Grant of Probate is required and a Solicitor is employed, the Solicitor will do this;
- The Executor (or the Solicitor) must check there are no outstanding claims against the Estate;
- The Executor must ascertain all beneficiaries, and gather their details such as addresses and PPS Numbers, and ask them for clarification on any prior gifts or inheritances [care should be taken here where a surviving spouse is not inheriting at least half of the Deceased’s Estate];
- If the Estate includes property, or is valued over a certain amount (normally €25,000), the Executor will need to apply for a Grant of Probate. Often an Executor will engage a Solicitor to act here;
- Once all assets are received by the Executor, or the Solicitor acting for him/her, all debts must be paid before the beneficiaries. Priority is given to funeral undertakers. The Executor must draft administration accounts to document all expenses during administration of the Estate;
- The Executor should notify all beneficiaries about potential inheritance tax they may be liable for;
- Finally, the Executor must distribute the Net Estate in accordance with the Testator’s wishes.
If you would like more information or guidance before choosing your Executor(s), or if you have been appointed an Executor and would like to discuss administering an Estate, please get in touch with me today, either by email email@example.com or by phone 086-8377559.