Determining what goes where is made so much easier if there is a carefully drafted will that explains the deceased persons wishes.
A valid will sets out who is responsible for dealing with the estate (known as executors). The executors are responsible for making sure the estate is distributed to the beneficiaries under the terms of the will.
If a person dies without leaving a will (intestate), the rules of intestacy will set out who is entitled to deal with the estate (known as the administrator) and who is entitled to benefit. People often think that their spouse will automatically inherit everything when they die, but this is not the case. Who gets what depends on the value of the estate and which relatives survive the deceased.
Executor and administrator duties and obligations
If you have been named as an executor in the Will, or are the administrator under the rules of intestacy, there are legal duties and responsibilities that you will have to carry out. We are happy to advise you on what this means for you and what your legal obligations are. If required, we can help you carry out those duties.
Inheritance Tax (IHT) is payable when the amount of money and property in the estate, after payment of any debts and funeral expenses (net estate) exceeds £325,000.00 and is payable at a rate of 40% on anything over and above that amount. This amount will change for deaths occurring after April 2017, with the introduction of the Residence Nil Rate Band.
Inheritance tax is a complex subject and we can advise you about this both when dealing with an estate and also at the time that you make your Will.
The estate could include assets that are already held in a Trust that had been set up during the deceased’s lifetime. These could arise under the terms of a Will, or even under the rules of intestacy if there are beneficiaries who are under the age of 18.
How we can help
Whether or not there has been a will left, our team can advise you on your legal obligations, duties and responsibilities when it comes to sorting out the money and property of someone who has died.
Whether you are an executor or an administrator, we can give advice on carrying out your duties. We can also advise on how to deal with any Trusts that arise under the terms of the will.
We can handle the process entirely, or support you through various stages – the choice is yours.
If you would like more information about how we can help, or just want a confidential chat about your options, contact our friendly team today.