Quite often when somebody dies, we will get a phone call from the Executor of the Will. The first thing they’ll say to us is, “I have no idea what to do”. Many people didn’t even know they had been named as the executor in the first place.
The task can be quite daunting. The first job is to register the death and this has to be done within seven days. The executor then needs to arrange the funeral, the cost of this is normally the first thing to be paid from the Deceased estate. The Deceased may have left instructions regarding their funeral wishes in the Will and an executor should see that these are carried out. An executor should make enquiries as to the existence of any pre-paid funeral plan. The registrar will have given you a form that authorises the funeral to take place and you will need to provide this and a copy death certificate to the funeral director.
Inform all Relevant Persons
Banks, Building Societies, Insurance Companies, Employers, Local Authorities, Benefits Agency, Tax Authorities, there is a possibility that the registrar will offer you the opportunity to use the ‘Tell us once’ scheme which will inform all of the necessary arms of government of the death and will trigger the necessary forms and paperwork from the relevant departments. If this service is offered it is a good idea to take it up.
Secure the Assets
You then need to go through the Deceased’s assets, ensure that all property is secure and insured, valuables are moved into secure storage and any cash is accounted for. You should ensure that the home of the deceased person is correctly insured if it is left empty, you will probably need specialist unoccupied property insurance.
Draw up a Schedule of Debts
That must be paid by the estate. This could include; Mortgages, Loans, Credit Cards, Household Bills, Taxes, and Overdrafts. Be sure to do this correctly as you could become personally liable for any debts that are missed.
These are just some of the many tasks that an executor is responsibile for. For a comprehensive guide to all the duties of both Executors and Trustees. Download our guide below.