Around six million people have experience of acting as the executor of a Will but just 4% realise that they are legally responsible for the accurate distribution of the estate that is entrusted to them.
An executor is responsible for administering the estate and is accountable to Her Majesty Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the beneficiaries. The process of administrating the estate can be daunting given the legal paperwork, tax calculations and various administrative tasks that need to be accurately completed.
The main duty of an executor is to ensure that the assets and liabilities associated with an estate are managed and dealt with efficiently. This normally involves collating information on all assets such as property, investments and personal possessions, and liabilities such as outstanding debts or mortgages.
The executor is responsible for valuing the assets, settling all liabilities and then distributing what is left to the nominated beneficiaries in line with the instructions left in the deceased’s Will. If an executor breaches their duty they can be held financially and legally liable for the consequences, even if they were unaware of their wrongdoing. Something as simple as failing to notify an insurance company that a house has now been left empty, could result in the executor being held liable for any loss that is incurred in the event of a burglary or even worse a fire.
We work in partnership with estate administration specialists Kings Court Trust who can remove this stress from the executor and take on full legal liability for administering an estate. If you would like to find out more about this service, please contact us on 01275 851056.