96% of executors are unaware of their legal liability

Categories DIY Executors, Industry News

Recent research has shown that while six million people have experience of acting as the executor of a Will, just 4% realise they are legally liable for the accurate distribution of the estate.

According to a survey conducted by Censuswide Castleacre Insurance, many executors do not realise how time consuming and difficult being an executor can be, with 12% stating that acting as an executor was a ‘complete nightmare’.

An executor is responsible for administering the estate and is accountable to Her Majesty Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the beneficiaries. The process of administrating the estate can be daunting given the legal paperwork, tax calculations and various administrative tasks that need to be accurately completed. 

The main duty of an executor is to ensure that the assets and liabilities associated with an estate are managed and dealt with efficiently.  This normally involves collating information on all assets such as property, investments and personal possessions, and liabilities such as outstanding debts or mortgages.  The executor is responsible for valuing the assets, settling all liabilities and then distributing what is left to the nominated beneficiaries in line with the instructions left in the deceased’s Will.  If an executor breaches their duty they can be held financially and legally liable for the consequences, even if they were unaware of their wrongdoing.

Tom Curran, Chief Executive of estate administration specialists Kings Court Trust, said: “We are well aware that being an executor can be challenging, with potentially serious ramifications for you and your family if you get things wrong. At Kings Court Trust we offer a comprehensive estate administration service and we take full legal responsibility for administering the estate from beginning to end. This offers peace of mind to our clients and means that they have one less thing to worry about at an already challenging time.”

Kings Court Trust offers a comprehensive estate administration service for a guaranteed fixed fee.  For more information on our services or if you have any questions relating to the estate administration process, contact our client services team on Freephone 0300 303 9000.