Being asked to act as an executor can be nerve-wracking, more so if you’ve never done it before. It can be a lengthy process and you could find yourself responsible for making some important decisions – something that many would find stressful. You may also be held personally liable for any errors, even if they are totally innocent, so the cost of being one can be high. Here are some tips for helping you through the process:
- Make a To-Do List
There can be more than one executor of a will, so there is a good chance you won’t be on your own. If there are other executors, meet with them and decide what needs to be done. It is important to consider what your duties are, and the timescales involved. Some of the top priorities include locating the most recent will, registering the death, arranging the funeral and securing any property which has now been left empty.
- Is probate required?
Assets owned by the deceased are known collectively as their estate. This can include property, money and personal belongings. As an executor, you will need to calculate the total value of the estate. There are no hard and fast rules, but if the value of the estate exceeds £ 15,000, it is likely that probate will be required. If so, you will need to apply to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Probate. Once this has been published, the legal authority to manage the estate will be confirmed.
- Be Organised
Organising an estate often involves a large number of documents. Among other things, you may need to notify different organisations about the death, report and pay taxes, transfer or sell the property and distribute the estate to the beneficiaries of the Will. By being organised and keep detailed records, you will make the process easier for yourself. It will also reduce the possibility of mistakes being made.
- Seek Expert Advice
Getting probate and dealing with an estate can become complicated. Probate processes can be very time consuming and often take between 70 to 100 hours to complete. For more complex estates, it can take even longer. If you want some support, you can always ask a legal professional for assistance. A probate solicitor or specialist can tell you whether or not probate is required, and can manage the estate on your behalf. For a Solicitor Gloucester to help, visit a site like deeandgriffin.co.uk
- Talk to Everyone Involved
Avoid conflicts and be sure to talk to everyone who has an interest in the deceased’s estate, especially the beneficiaries. Executors have a duty to act in the best interests of the estate, and being open and transparent would minimize the concern from others. Keeping an open line of communication and sending regular updates on what you are doing, with reasons for any delays, will help significantly.