Executing a will

Are you administrator or executor of a will? It's not easy dealing with your grief over a loved one, making funeral arrangements and starting the administrative duties of an executor all at the same time. Slater and Gordon solicitors can help.

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How to execute a will

If you are the executor of someone's will or if you have been named administrator, your task is to act according to the will of the deceased person. You may need a legal document, known as a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration, which gives you the authority to administer the estate of the deceased person.

For more information about probate or the tasks of an executor, read our guides on probate and the duties of an executor.

Why should I consider legal representation as an executor?

There are different reasons for working with an expert solicitor when faced with the task of executing a loved one's will:

  • Time-saving: working with an expert solicitor will save you time.
  • Efficient: A professional solicitor with experience in the field will complete complex tasks easily and efficiently and will keep the administrative work and time spent on it to a minimum.
  • Independent Party: Unfortunately, sharing out an estate can often lead to disputes within the family. This is usually the last thing the deceased person wanted. A solicitor is an independent party with a neutral view. If the estate is contested, the solicitor remains a neutral party and once litigation is complete, the solicitor will then proceed to distribute the estate. Read here for more on contesting a will.
  • Responsibility: As an executor or administrator, you can be held personally liable for any mistakes made. The assistance of our specialist solicitors will help you avoid making mistakes.

I am the executor of an estate - what can a solicitor assist me with?

Depending on the will, the estate, and the beneficiaries, carrying out your duties as an executor or administrator can be complicated and time-consuming. A professional will and probate solicitor can assist you with tasks such as:

  • Applying for a grant of probate or letters of administration
  • Collecting in assets and discharging liabilities
  • Communicating with the beneficiaries and distributing the estate in accordance with the will.
  • If there is no will, distributing the estate according to the rules of intestacy.
  • Considering and settling the tax liabilities of the estate (e.g. inheritance tax, income tax, and capital gains tax)

Is probate always needed for executing a will?

It is not always necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate.

Read our guide on probate, for more information.

The will seems inconclusive in some parts - what should I do?

If the will is ambiguous it may be declared invalid and the estate will be shared in accordance with the rules of intestacy. If you have concerns regarding the Will under which you are appointed as executor we advise you to seek legal advice from our specialist solicitors.

How do I pay for legal assistance for executing a will?

Any expenses incurred by you in your position as executor or administrator can be reimbursed from the estate. For example, you may be reimbursed for your travel expenses and postage costs. However, as a lay executor or administrator, you are not entitled to charge for your time in dealing with the estate. If you instruct a probate solicitor to assist with the administration of the estate, the professional fees incurred are payable from the estate. With legal assistance you can keep your work and time spent to a minimum and the estate can usually be shared out more quickly when working with an expert.

Probate fees

Help with executing a will

Are you an administrator or executor of a will? It's not easy dealing with your grief over a loved one, making funeral arrangements, and starting the administrative duties of an executor all at the same time.

This is why many executors and administrators (also known as personal representatives) choose to work with a solicitor who assists them with executing the will of the deceased person. Slater and Gordon have specialist solicitors who can assist you with your duties as the personal representative of your loved one's estate. Call us now on freephone 0330 041 5869.

Meet the wills and trusts experts

Our expert team are highly specialised in all areas of wills, tax, trusts and probate.

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