The role of an Executor is to distribute the estate of the deceased in accordance with their wishes in the Will. Quite often this will mean drawing in assets and paying any liabilities owed before being able to make any of the gifts.
Choosing an Executor
You can appoint between 1 and 4 executors, although 2 is common. The Executors must be at least 18 years of age and must be of sound mind.
Where there is more than one Executor, they will share responsibility for the distribution of the estate. It is wise to consider the people you will be choosing as you Executors. They must be trustworthy and ought not to be residing in another country for practical reasons. You should consider the age of the person who you are appointing as if they are elderly when you are appointing them they may be unable to act when the time comes.
If, as an Executor, you are unsure as to your responsibilities please do contact us here at Will Management Services as we deal with these matters routinely.
Some people choose to appoint professional executors due to the complexity of their estate or the vulnerability of other family members who they don’t feel will be able to handle the legal responsibility at such a painful and difficult time.
It is worth careful thought and consideration as to whom you appoint.
What if there are no Executors?
If a Will doesn’t appoint an executor, the executors cannot be found, are deceased or do not wish to act, a beneficiary can apply to act and the executor to administer the estate.
What is Probate?
Probate is the application of the right to deal with the deceased person’s estate. In short the application for the grant of probate. This will not normally take place on small or simple estates (less than £5,000 or if everything is owned jointly).
Winding up an estate
It is a common misconception that once someone dies their estate automatically passes from the deceased to the beneficiaries and the recent case of Illot v Mitson has shown that probate can sometimes become contentious.
Therefore, the need has arisen for people to understand that it can sometimes take over a year and sometimes two to wind up the estate of a deceased person and for the estate to be distributed.
5 February 2020
The views expressed in this blog do not in any way constitute advice and are specific to the date noted. As time passes the facts can change and readers should consult their adviser for up to date advice on any matters covered within the blog. Invest Southwest offers an initial review, which is free of charge, however long it takes. From this we will be able to confirm how we can help and give you an opportunity to decide if you would like us to. Thereafter, we will provide you with detailed recommendations and exact costs. Please note that we promise not to levy any kind of fee unless we can demonstrate a benefit to you.