What does an Executor have to do?
After losing a loved one, if you discover you are appointed as an Executor in their Will, this adds an extra challenge at an already difficult time.
Your role as Executor involves dealing with the deceased’s money and assets and distributing these in accordance with the Will.
This may involve obtaining a Grant of Probate, depending on the amount and type of assets involved. The Grant of Probate is the document that confirms you have the authority to deal with the estate. If there is a Will an Executor has the ability to deal with quite a few things without a Grant, such as selling personal possessions including any car, and many banks will release funds up to about £50,000. Some institutions, however, insist on seeing a Grant of Probate and that might be when the funds held in a bank or building society exceed the threshold for release or there are shares or property to be dealt with, for example.
To obtain a Grant of Probate, valuations of all the money and assets are required as at the date of death, along with details of any liabilities and lifetime gifts, in order to ascertain whether Inheritance Tax will be payable. This then needs to be reported using the appropriate H M Revenue and Customs Inheritance Tax Account.
Once the Inheritance Tax affairs have been dealt with, the Grant of Probate can be issued, and you can then arrange to sell the assets, close any accounts and pay any liabilities. The money and assets will then need to be distributed in accordance with the Will.
You must also consider whether any income tax and capital gains tax reporting is required up to the date of death, and during the time you are dealing with the estate.
Please see our more detailed guide to the stages in estate administration here.
Our Wills, Trusts and Probate team of experienced Private Client lawyers would be happy to assist you through the process and can be contacted on 01202 525333 or by making an enquiry using our online form.