You are now probably wondering what your role will entail when the time comes? There are many decisions and arrangements to be made by the executor appointed to carry out the terms of a Will, including the application for a Grant of Probate.
The Duties of an Executor
The following is a list outlining some of the main duties that you will need to perform when the time comes, for a more detailed list then, please contact us Stephen James Drury & Associates 01529 306005.
Locate the Will – the will is required by the executor to enable the start of the process of winding up the deceased’s estate (Probate). The will is also likely to include the deceased’s preferences as regards their funeral arrangements. If the deceased was a client of Stephen James Drury & Associates then the original will is likely to be stored with us, and you should contact us in the first instance.
The death certificate - Obtain copies of the death certificate, several may be required to cater for each financial institution (banks, insurance companies etc). Copies obtained from the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages are regarded as ‘originals’ as opposed to a photocopy of the certificate.
Arrange the funeral - The cost of the funeral will usually be the first expense paid for from the deceased’s estate, unless a prepaid funeral plan already exists.
Apply for a Grant of Probate via the nearest Probate Registry.
What is Probate? It is a legal process that is required when a person has died. This involves dealing with the deceased’s estate such as, property, finances, belongings and any debts.
A Grant of Probate is required before being able to deal with the estate, it is a legal document that the Executor needs in order to deal with the deceased’s assets. The Grant is given by the Probate Registry (this is a part of the High Court). Please note that an executor must be aged 18 or over and cannot act if they are bankrupt.
The deceased’s estate will be frozen until probate is granted, including bank accounts, investments etc. The Probate process also legally validates the Will. Probate may not be required where estates are worth less than £5,000, however financial institutions do differ and it would rely upon their discretion.
The Executor will need to:
Open a Personal Representative’s bank account. This will be used for the receipt of monies due to the Estate and any loan arranged to pay for any Inheritance Tax and to pay bills and probate fees.
Inform all relevant persons and organisations of the death, such as banks, life assurance companies, employer, the local authority, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs etc.
Arrange for a valuation of the Estate. This will include the home and contents, personal effects, bank accounts, savings and investments etc.
Draw up a detailed schedule of assets and a full schedule of debts such as mortgages, taxes, utility bills, credit cards, loans etc.
Complete the forms required by Her Majesties Revenue and Customs so that it can be established whether any Inheritance Tax is due.
Complete the appropriate probate forms and send or take them to the Probate Office along with the original Will, the death certificate and the Inland Revenue account.
If Inheritance Tax is due the Executor’s account of the Estate is passed to the Tax Office and the Grant of Probate cannot be issued until the tax is paid. If this is the case, banks can arrange a loan facility to pay the tax straight away, and avoid any delays.
When the Grant of Probate is received, the Estate can then be distributed according to the terms of the Will.
Executors will need to prepare and sign accounts showing who has benefited from the estate and show that they have acted in accordance with the terms of the Will in case there are any disputes.
An Executor is allowed to pass the role over to a professional to complete the Probate work upon their behalf, we at Stephen James Drury & Associates can provide this service for you if you wish.
For further information or assistance, please contact us via:
Telephone: (01529) 306005 or