What is an 'executor'?

One of the most important tasks involved in writing your will is to appoint executors. These are the people who will manage and distribute your estate after you’ve died, using the instructions you make in your will.

What does an executor do?

Typical responsibilities can include:

  • Collecting and listing all of the assets in the estate – bank accounts, property, possessions etc.
  • Valuing the estate.
  • Applying for a grant of probate.
  • Making sure all debts, bills, taxes (including inheritance tax) and funeral expenses are paid for out of the estate.
  • Sell off assets if needed.
  • Distribute whatever is left, following the wishes made in the will.
  • Keeping a record of what they’ve done in the form of estate accounts.

How many executors?

If you are leaving all or most of your estate to your partner it is common for that person to be the sole executor of the will. Otherwise it is usually a good idea to appoint more than one executor to share the responsibility. You should also consider appointing substitutes in case your chosen executors die before you do or in case one of them can’t act when the time comes.

You can actually appoint as many executors as you want, but only a maximum of four will be able to apply for probate. Two people are usually enough.

Related Articles:

Who can be appointed as an Executor?

How do I appoint an Executor for my will? 

Back to the knowledge base

Try affio's online Will writing service. It's free to start!

Click here to start