Tips For The Reluctant Executor

As much as we try to encourage our clients to speak with the people they wish to appoint as executors to inform them of their choice, some people will one day find themselves surprised with the role.

Many of these people will have this responsibility placed on them at a time where they are grieving the loss of a loved one. It is also likely to be the first time they have ever acted as an executor and the road ahead may look daunting.

If you find yourself in this situation and don’t want to act, then there are a couple of options available to you.

One option is to appoint a specialist to take on the legal responsibility and to carry out the work on your behalf. Note that this will incur fees that will be payable out of the deceased estate.

According to research carried out by the Office of Tax Simplification last year only 11% of respondents who did not use an adviser to assist with probate stated that they found the process simple and user friendly. 38% of respondents who did not use an adviser stated that they spent 50 hours or more on estate administration. It goes to show then that using a professional advisor to assist with probate will take a huge burden off of you.

The other option is to renounce. An executor who doesn’t wish to act is not forced to.

As long as you have not ‘intermeddled’ in the estate you can formally step down.

Intermeddling is carrying out any duties that an executor would usually perform to administer the estate, such as settling debts and selling assets. Don’t worry if you have already taken steps to collect in assets for protection or arranging the deceased’s funeral though. While these tasks are an executor’s duty they are not considered intermeddling.

If you find yourself thrust into the role of an executor and for one reason or another you aren’t willing to act then give us a call, we can then advise you of the costs involved and give you peace of mind that ‘someone else’ will sort it all out for you.

4 March 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.

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