When a member of the family dies, it can leave you lost. If they left behind a Last Will and Testament, however, it provides a guideline on what to do to settle their estate. If you give an executor duties over the estate (which you can be even if you are a beneficiary named in the will), they can carry out the will and to settle all debts.
With the help of a solicitor and any of the other executors, you can get through this process easily. In doing so, you can provide the testator one last service by seeing out their final wishes.
What is an Executor?
First, an executor may or may not be a beneficiary of the will in question. But in essence, their job is to carry out the Last Will and Testament of the testator. There can be up to four executors chosen so that you can share in the responsibility. In general, one executor is usually chosen to carry out these duties.
A long list of executor duties
In short, the actual responsibilities include the following executor duties we list below.
In essence, the executor will apply for probate. This will give you the legal right to manage the testator’s estate in their stead and carry out their will as outlined in their Last Will and Testament. It is usually only necessary to apply for probate* if the estate is worth more than £5,000.
Acquire the Will
You will need to acquire all versions of the will including any codicils made to the Will. Though the only Will necessary to execute is the final version, it is crucial to have all versions on hand. Once you have this Will, you’ll want to create copies for both the government and the beneficiaries.
Arrange the Funeral
If the Will outlines funeral arrangements, it’s important to follow those through. If the testator works out a method of payment (either from their own account or through an insurance plan), you can then obtain the fees to pay for the funeral so that the family doesn’t face unnecessary costs.
Secure the Deceased’s Assets
Learn what assets the testator has. This means collecting all belongings, properties, businesses, shares, and savings.
For any item/property with a monetary value greater in value than £500, it’s essential to get a professional evaluation. If there’s
- no one living at the property of the testator, and;
- the property was in their name;
you have two critical bodies to notify.
- The insurance company and;
- The government.
That way, the deed goes into the name of the estate until selling on passing it on, per requirements.
Notify Creditors and Government of Death
This is as part of the government notifications you need to make. You’ll want to notify creditors, subscription agencies, and the government of the testator’s passing.
Close Their Accounts
In short, the executor can close all the testator’s accounts, including pension and subscriptions.
Pay Off Debts
Executors pay off the testator’s remaining debts and any taxes on the estate. Only settling these amounts can the remaining amount go to the beneficiaries.
If their estate is not enough to carry out the debt, then the beneficiaries receive nothing.
Distribute Remaining Estate to Beneficiaries
sSupposing that there is money or property left, distribute it accordingly amongst the beneficiaries.
Can You Claim Expenses For Executor Duties?
In short, yes: you can claim expenses as part of your executor duties.
Can You Have a Solicitor Help You With Executor Duties?
Yes, and in fact, you should find a specialist in this field if you lack the experience. It’s best to hire The Inheritance Experts to help you through this process.
*This means you need to file the PA1 and inheritance IHT form and pay a £200-£215 fee)