When someone close to you dies, handling the administration of their estate may feel like a lot to deal with at a difficult time. An experienced lawyer can assist you to navigate the process.
The Will, if there is one, should stipulate who the Executors are. The role of an Executor is onerous and carries a lot of responsibility. In England & Wales Executors can be held personally financially liable for any losses resulting from a breach of duty, even if a mistake is made in good faith. For this reason Executors often decide to instruct a qualified lawyer to represent them to ensure that the estate is administered correctly.
When someone dies without a Will, the law governing intestacy comes into effect.
We assist families with family trees to determine who the beneficiaries are and to ascertain the correct person to apply the Grant of Representation and to administer to estate.
Responsibilities of Executors / Administrators
- Valuation of the estate by identifying all assets and liabilities.
- Assessment whether or not the estate is subject to inheritance tax which includes producing and submitting an Inheritance Tax Account to HMRC.
- Payment of any inheritance tax due. Payment is due 6 months from the end of the month in which the deceased died.
- Application to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Representation to authorise the Executors to administer the estate. To receive the Grant, the Executors must be able to certify that either no inheritance tax is due on the estate, or that the relevant inheritance tax due has been paid.
- Gather in the assets and settle liabilities.
- Produce the estate accounts to provide to the beneficiaries.
- Distribute the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will of the deceased or the rules of intestacy.