After a loss
Guidance for Executors of a will
What should I do if I am appointed as an Executor in a will?
If the person whose will you are an Executor of has died, it will be necessary for you to start to deal with the administration of the Estate. Your first task will be to either obtain a copy of the death certificate or register the death with the registry office. As an Executor, you are responsible for ensuring that all assets belonging to the Estate are safe properly insured and therefore this should be one of your first tasks.
Will I need a Grant of Probate?
A Grant of Probate is required to transfer high value assets held in the Estate such as property, shares and investments. In terms of bank accounts held by the deceased, it will be necessary for you to contact the various financial institutions and determine whether they require a Grant of Probate in order to release the funds. Certainly, if the deceased held a property, shares or business interests, a Grant of Probate will be required. You can either apply personally for a Grant of Probate ( https://www.gov.uk/applying-for-probate/apply-for-probate) or instruct a solicitor to assist. You will need a full list of all assets held and liabilities held by the deceased at the date of death and it may be necessary for you to obtain valuations to determine these values.
As Executor, you will also need to determine whether Inheritance tax is payable and be clear on the deadlines that need to be abided to.
Please be aware that there are many organisations that offer advice on making and administering a will because they have an interest in receiving a legacy. While this is often provided with the best intentions, such advice is not necessarily impartial.
Guidance which focusses on legal and administrative matters is available from the Government through this link.
Guidance from Citizens Advice is available through this link.