What does an Executor of a Will have to do?
In our example, Peter’s Uncle has recently died. His Mum had mentioned that he would probably be a beneficiary of his Uncle’s Will. Peter has now received a copy of the Will and has realised that not only is he a beneficiary of the Will, but he is the Executor of the Will too!
What should Peter do?
What happens if someone dies and you are the Executor of their Will?
An Executor of a Will is responsible for administering the deceased’s estate when they die. It can be quite daunting initially, especially when you are grieving. Having the right advice and support can help.
The tasks vary depending on the circumstances of each Estate, but key responsibilities often include:
- obtaining copies of the Will and locating the original Will
- valuing the estate and submitting accounts to HMRC, paying any Inheritance Tax due and making application to the Probate Court to obtain Grant of Probate
- being responsible for property and post
- realising the assets of the estate once the Grant of Probate is obtained and paying any debts owed by the deceased
- paying any income tax payable by the deceased up to their date of death and also accounting to HMRC for any income received during the period of administration of the estate
- distributing the estate to the beneficiaries
There may be other responsibilities or requests made in the Will by the deceased that you may also be responsible for. For example, some beneficiaries can be hard to locate. There could be decisions around children and money held in trusts. There is also the added complexity of valuing pensions, investments, stocks and shares which can be difficult to manage.
How can a solicitor help?
Because some elements of a Will and the distribution can be tricky, especially with a complex estate involving pensions, property and investments, Hepburn Delaney Solicitors recommend seeking independent legal advice so that you can ensure the administration of the estate is conducted properly.
Why might I need legal advice?
Peter’s Uncle had several pensions, savings accounts and a portfolio of investments. Therefore, this involved contacting all the different companies, obtaining a valuation, following various procedures and then making a series of payments to HRMC and beneficiaries. Hepburn Delaney supported Peter with the administration of the Will and provided specialist advice about the pensions and investments. In this example, Hepburn Delaney received the funds of the estate to their solicitors client account and made payments to HMRC and the beneficiaries directly.
We can help you
Hepburn Delaney’s specialist team can help you with any questions about being an Executor of a Will.
We can advise with all aspects of the role at a time which is already likely to be stressful for you and your family. Our expert team will help you carry out your role and guide you through decision making.
You may also find further helpful information from Citizens Advice here.
Please contact our specialist Wills and Probate team today on 01442218090 or online.