If you are named in someone’s Will as an Executor, carrying out their wishes may, on the face of it, seem straightforward. The Estate has a couple of bank accounts, some shares to sell and a house to put on the market. All of the residual monies are to be split three ways. Everyone gets on, so there should be no issues… but the reality of being appointed an Executor is much more wide reaching than you might first think. Have the following been addressed by the Executors?
- Did the deceased have any debts that were concealed from everyone’s knowledge? Have the Executors adequately protected themselves from this possibility?
- Has the property been fully insured from the date of death to cover any fire/damage/vandalism that the empty property is now more susceptible to?
- Have the Executors declared any income tax due during the period of administration (from date of death to distribution of the estate)? This includes interest from savings, dividends, and rental income if a property continues to be rented (even to a family member) whilst the estate is wound up.
- If there has been a delay in administering the estate whilst selling a property, for example, then any cash legacies under the Will should have interest added to them after 12 months from the date of death to compensate for the wait.
- Have all of the inheritance tax allowances applicable to the situation been applied for? What if you find further assets exist after sending an account to HMRC?
- Have the Executors paused before making the final distribution of money to see if a Deed of Variation would be a good planning tool for any beneficiaries concerned?
The above points are just some examples of why some input from a professional advisor might be a cost-effective choice from the beginning to ensure you have covered all aspects of the estate administration ad discharged your liabilities as an Executor. Contact us for further details on any of the points above on 0345 20 73 72 8 or firstname.lastname@example.org