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What are your responsibilities if you agree to be an executor?


Clients often ask trusted advisers to act as executors of their wills. Acceptance of the role of executor by an independent professional comes with significant burdens and risks. While the executor’s role is to administer the deceased’s wishes, pay debts, and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries, there is significant capacity for executors to affect the position of the beneficiaries, and vice versa, for a long time. The purpose of this article is to explain the duties and responsibilities of executorship.

The article discusses in detail the executor’s obligations to the deceased, to the beneficiaries and to creditors. Difficulties which an executor may encounter are considered. The author concludes that professionals may wish to explain to their clients that their value to the clients is in acting as advisers and that they could better serve the clients by partnering with third parties as executors.

Author profile

Donal Griffin
Donal is a very experienced lawyer in the area of succession law and is a member of STEP. Prior to becoming a director at de Groots wills and estate lawyers, he worked at a top four accounting firm. He specialises in working with advisers who are keen to maintain their role as trusted adviser for their clients. - Current at 19 December 2012
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