Are you the Executor in a Will?
Have you been chosen by a family member or friend to be the Executor of their Will? This means that you have been given responsibility to manage their estate according to the terms they’ve outlined in their Will and to protect their assets under the various laws and rules that govern estate administration in Britain. This can be an onerous duty at times.
An executor’s duties may include responsibilities such as:
- Organising the funeral, notices for the paper, flowers
- Locating the Will
- Obtaining a copy of the Death Certificate
- Making sure any property and assets are safe and secure
- Determining the value of assets
- Applying for Probate
- Paying insurance policies, debts and taxes
- Collecting monies belonging to the deceased from financial institutions and insurance companies
- Collecting debts owed to the deceased
- Lodging tax returns for the deceased and for the estate
- Selling properties and assets
- Reporting to beneficiaries
- Distributing the proceeds of the estate to beneficiaries
- Setting up trusts
Being an Executor can be overwhelming, particularly when you are grieving, but rest assured, our team of probate solicitors can guide you through what you need to do in a discreet and sensitive way.
Do Executors get paid?
It depends. Unless you are a professional acting in your area for the estate, it’s unlikely, but depends on the clauses in the will. However, any executor is able to reimburse themselves with reasonable expenses in dealing with the estate. These expenses can also include legal fees.. If you’re not a beneficiary then you can apply for commission.
Do I need a Solicitor?
Estates vary in complexity and Executor’s duties can be complicated heavy burden, particularly at a time when an executor may wish to be grieving, so it may be a good idea to get advice from a solicitor. The cost of legal advice is usually covered by the funds in an estate, not the Executors personally.
What is Probate?
Probate is a court order which is a formal recognition of the Will’s validity and permission from the High Court for the Executors named in the Will of the deceased to carry out their duties in relation to the Estate. You will likely need a grant of Probate to deal with the assets of an estate, such as selling property and obtaining bank funds.
What if there is no Will?
This situation is referred to as intestacy and the law determines how assets will be shared out after debts have been paid. If you are the next of kin; a creditor or a relative you can usually apply for authority to manage the estate.
What if I’m not up to the job?
Just because you have been named an Executor doesn’t mean you have to accept the responsibility. If there is another Executor named, they can take on the all of the work if you agree this, or if you are the sole executor you can apply to the court to appoint someone else. You cannot change your mind later and come back in, though – giving up the responsibility is final.
Contact us to find out more or to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced Probate Lawyers across East Sussex in Eastbourne, Brighton or Uckfield.