As an executor of a will you are responsible for overseeing the administration of the deceased’s estate.
You will be responsible for applying for probate and identifying any claims on the estate.
On estates worth more than £325,000 you will be required to complete and submit an Inheritance Tax return and ensure that any tax is paid.
You must notify all relevant organisations such as banks, building societies, utility companies, pension providers etc.
Once this tax is completed and you have gathered all assets and paid all debts, you will need to compile a set of estate accounts to send to all interested parties in advance of you distributing the estate to the beneficiaries of the will.
As you can see being an executor of a will is no easy task. It is a great responsibility.
Who is accountable for mistakes when administering a will?
You are accountable for all of your actions regarding the administration of the estate and for any ongoing trusts. You will be liable, legally and financially, for any errors on the estate such as failure to submit a tax return; pay outstanding debts; or distribute the assets to the correct beneficiaries.
Once Grant of Probate has been issued, the beneficiaries of the will have six months to make a claim against you. Creditors of the estate have 12 years following the will writer’s death.
How do I get help administering an estate?
If this all sounds daunting, you can refuse to be an executor of a will. Alternatively, you can employ a solicitor to obtain the grant of probate and to deal with the estate administration on your behalf. The cost of estate administration varies from case to case. If you need help administering an estate, we will be happy to offer you a free half hour consultation and advise you of the costs involved.