Executor or Administrator – the roles

Executor or Administrator

An executor is a person appointed under a Will and who will be seeking to obtain a Grant of Probate. An administrator is a person who is appointed in accordance with the rules of intestacy when there is no Will.

First stage:

  • Obtain detailed estate valuations from banks, building societies and other asset holding institutions.
  • Obtaining valuations of shares, property and personal belongings.
  • Ascertain the value of the estate for inheritance tax purposes so that the appropriate tax return can be filed as part of the application for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
  • Prepare the documentation that is needed to be submitted to the Probate Registry.

Second stage (when the Grant of Representation has been obtained).

  • Register the grant with the account holding institutions and all companies concerned.
  • Handle all enquiries from these companies in order to obtain release of funds.
  • Arrange to transfer or sell property and other assets including shares where applicable.
  • Pay all debts and where required funeral expenses.
  • Pay any legacies mentioned in a Will.
  • Obtain all clearances required from the Capital Taxes Office of HM Revenue and Customs.

Final stage:

  • Prepare Estate accounts.
  • Distribute the balance of the Estate to the beneficiaries named in a Will or under the Rules of Intestacy.

How can Berry Smith help?

We can provide advice on the following:

  • The detailed duties of an executor or administrator.
  • How to contact the organisations which hold the deceased’s assets.
  • How to arrange valuations of the assets.
  • We can assist with the preparation of the documents required by HM Revenue and Customs and the Probate Registry as pre-requisites to a Grant of Representation being obtained including advice on how inheritance tax can be paid as this has to be paid before a grant is issued.

We can advise on:

  • How to lodge appropriate advertisements to protect the personal representatives against personal liability to creditors of the deceased.
  • The inheritance tax implications that arise in the estate.
  • On dealing with any business assets in the state.
  • On any disputes that might arise in connection with the estate.
  • The interpretation of any trusts contained in a Will.

Protection against creditors

If personal representatives are not beneficiaries of an estate they should always consider advertising for any creditors of the deceased.

By placing these advertisements and not distributing the estate for a period of two months thereafter they will be protected against any claims by unknown creditors if they then distribute the estate to the beneficiaries.

If the personal representatives and beneficiaries are one and the same these notices will not have the same effect as a creditor can pursue debts to a beneficiary.

The advertisements are usually placed in the London Gazette and a local newspaper in the area where the deceased lived at the time of their death and need to follow a particular form. The added advantage of these notices are that they may bring any potential claimants against an estate “out of the woodwork” but the two month period does not affect their ability to claim which is subject to different time limits.

No protection is offered in relation to claims of which personal representatives knew before assets are distributed to any beneficiaries.

It is a matter for the personal representatives to decide in each individual case whether they want the advertisements to be lodged and if they are close friends or family of the deceased they may feel that they have sufficient knowledge of the estate for this not to be an issue but certainly when professional advisors are appointed such advertisements will be placed as a matter of course.

As the notices require a two month period to expire before distribution they should be placed as soon as possible.

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If you would like a no obligation discussion, please feel free to contact us either by phone on 02920 345511 or emailing us below.