Why A Lay Executor Should Seek Professional Advice To Administer An Estate?

A common reason for seeking professional help is to allow the family to grieve rather than be burdened with the responsibility of administering the financial affairs of a deceased loved one.

Some of us are not natural organisers and don't cope well in crisis. It can be a great comfort to families
struggling with loss to instruct a professional to relieve them of the responsibility at a stressful and
emotional time. Some us also just don't have the time to deal with the administration of an estate.

Whether an estate is complex or not, it may be that there is some conflict in the family. Appointing a
professional means, they can act as an impartial or neutral party. They can deal with the matter at a
necessary distance from the emotional complications.

There are a variety of tasks involved in the administration of an estate that a non-professional may find
difficult to carry out or may even overlook. Such tasks include:

  • Locating all of the assets
  • Correctly valuing the assets
  • Opening and operating an executor's bank account to hold estate funds during the administration of the estate
  • Insuring unoccupied properties
  • Arranging payment of inheritance tax before probate is obtained
  • Obtaining a clearance certificate from HMRC to confirm no further IHT is due
  • Paying the debts of the estate in the correct order
  • Calculating and paying interest on unpaid legacies after 12 months of the death
  • Carrying out bankruptcy searches against beneficiaries before payment is made
  • Placing Trustee Act notices to advertise for creditors to come forward
  • Delaying distribution for 6 months from the date of the Grant of Probate in case of any potential claims against the estate from family members

You must also ensure you are working from the latest Will as failure to do so could result in personal
liability against the Executor to put things right.

Ifyou make a mistake or fail to administer the estate in an efficient and timely manner you could also be
sued by a disappointed beneficiary.


5 April 2019

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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