An Executor is the person (or persons) who will administer – or execute – your affairs after you have died. Being an executor does not prevent the person from also being a beneficiary of your estate. Spouses, civil partners or partners can appoint each other as executor in the first instance and additional/replacement executors such as adult children or professionals can be appointed as substitute executors in the event of both deaths.

You should consider the appointment of your executors with care. The duties imposed by law on executors and trustees can be time consuming and can lead to personal liability. The partners of our parent company Thompsons Solicitors LLP are willing to act as executors of your estate, either solely or with a relative or trusted friend.

Even when a Will appoints an executor, a Grant of Probate must generally be obtained from the Probate Registry. A Grant is a Court sealed document confirming the appointment of the executors of your estate.

As part of the application for the Grant, a full inventory of your assets and liabilities must be submitted to HRMC. This may result in Inheritance Tax having to be paid. It is possible for your executors and trustees to appoint a solicitor to assist them with the administration of your estate in order to ensure that everything is dealt with appropriately and with expertise.

Grant of Probate

Once the Grant of Probate is obtained, assets of the estate can be collected and liabilities settled. This can involve time consuming work in dealing with a number of organisations.

Your estate will be dealt with quickly with the least amount of inconvenience to your beneficiaries.

Using solicitors also ensures that nothing gets overlooked, including Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and potential Capital Gains Tax arising during the administration period.

This service can help you safeguard the interests of your family, friends and dependants. It is important for both partners to make Wills because you might die at the same time. In any event you should provide for what should happen when you both die.

It is also extremely important for unmarried partners to make Wills. If you die without a Will, specific rules apply (called the “Rules of Intestacy”) and will dictate who inherits from your estate and in what proportion. Unfortunately the Rules of Intestacy do not recognise unmarried partners and your partner as such would receive nothing from your estate on your death.


Inheritance Tax, or IHT as it is sometimes referred to, is levied on a person’s estate when they die. We can offer effective Inheritance Tax advice, so that part of your estate is not lost in paying taxes. For more information, visit