estate planning

Introduction to Probate

If you are appointed as an Executor, In addition to the immediate tasks you will need to attend to, such as arranging the funeral, there is often a lot of paperwork to be dealt with and official documents which need to be completed over the next few weeks.

Many Wills will have appointed relatives or trusted friends as Executor but being the Executor of an estate is not really an honour, it’s a difficult, time consuming job that can carry some legal liability.

If you are an Executor, you need to be sure that you understand the duties and responsibilities. For example, payment of all taxes becomes your personal responsibility and may leave you liable to penalties. Equally, Executors have a liability to the beneficiaries should any mistakes occur and the beneficiaries may look to them for compensation.


As an Executor you could find yourself administering the estate over a long period of time and could quite possibly become unpopular with the beneficiaries of the Will, you would also need to arrange for the care of any minor children and pets, and arrange any insurance cover required for the deceased's assets.


A Professional Executor is an alternative choice and could act with family members, particularly if any of the following apply:

Where there are multiple assets such as: bank accounts and savings, shares, bonds and investments.

Where there are liabilities such as mortgages, loans or credit cards. 

Where a property is to be sold or conveyed.

Where the estate is of a high value.

Where there is a business or the deceased was a partner in a business.

Agricultural property.

Family Trusts or large gifts to under 18’s.

Where a potential claim under the Provision for Family and Dependants Act 1975 by someone who feels unfairly treated by the Will, or by the rules of intestacy.

If the Will is badly drafted or beneficiaries cannot be traced.

For more information on the role of an Executor, applying for Probate and Deed of Variation please contact me using the Contact Us button on the website.