Here at Kings Court Trust (KCT), we are often asked about the responsibilities of becoming an executor and what this actually entails.
The role is a very important one as the executor is responsible for overseeing the management and distribution of an estate in line with the Will. As well as having to deal with all of the assets and liabilities, the executor is legally and financially responsible for the accurate distribution of the estate. This means that if any mistakes are made that result in a beneficiary being excluded accidentally, the executor will be responsible for sorting out the mistake.
People are often surprised by the time it takes to do all of the work that is required, especially if an estate contains lots of assets or liabilities. There is also the stress and hassle of completing all the paperwork to consider, which can be magnified given that it relates to a loved one who is no longer with you. All of these factors mean that it is often a better option to appoint a specialist firm like Kings Court Trust to do the work on your behalf so that you don’t have to worry about anything.
We are commonly asked to act as executors of a person’s estate to carry out their wishes as specified in their Will. This not only means that we deal with all of the paperwork involved, such as applying for a Grant of Probate and dealing with the tax implications, but also involves us paying administrative and funeral costs using the money from the estate, as well as distributing gifts to the beneficiaries.
To apply for a Grant of Probate, we have to ensure that the relevant paperwork and documents are in order which includes the following:
- Identifying whether any money is owed by or to the estate, such as a tax rebate
- Preparing a detailed list of the deceased’s assets, including property, money and possessions - this will include gaining valuations on certain higher value possessions such as antiques or jewellery
- Deducting any debts from the value of the estate, such as a mortgage or credit card debts, as well as Inheritance Tax (IHT) where relevant. IHT is currently payable at 40% on an estate worth over £325,000
- Resolving any other tax issues, for example informing the tax office of someone’s death as well as paying Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax
- Preparing and sending documents required by the probate registry and HMRC
As an executor, the time that it takes to administer an estate can vary according to its size and complexity. Here at KCT we offer a range of fixed fee services which mean that you know exactly how much our service will cost from the beginning. All of your needs will be handled by our legal and tax experts who will keep you updated of how the case is progressing at every stage.
If you would like to find out more about our estate administration services, contact our team of estate administration specialists on 0300 303 9000 who will be able to provide practical support and guidance on the best option for you.