We often find that initially, executors feel confident in administering a will themselves. Below, are some of the key duties that you, as the executor, need to undertake, if you do decide that doing it yourself is for you.
Your role as an executor of the will.
Register the death.
Pay the inheritance tax.
You’ll need to pay the inheritance tax on the value of the deceased’s estate. It is currently paid at a rate of forty per cent on assets above £325,000 (2019/2020). This can be reduced to thirty-six per cent if you give a least ten per cent to charity. Furthermore, you may be entitled to the £150,000 (2019/2020), Residential Nil Rate Band allowance. This allowance is rising to £175,000 in 2020/2021. These limits tend to change each year with the budget. It is worth taking independent financial advice to see that you have made use of all the allowances that are on offer.
Apply for a grant of probate.
The grant of probate is the document authorising you to deal with the estate. You apply to the Probate Registry Office. Application fees for probate are currently £155 if you apply through a solicitor and £215 if you’re doing it yourself. Remember also that estates worth less than £5,000 presently pay no fee.
We would recommend that you request several copies. Additional copies of the probate form can also be ordered for 50p each. Also, you’ll need them for the bank, pension provider etc. to tell them about the death and that you are responsible for the management of the estate.
Consider getting professional advice with the will.
You may want to take professional advice from a solicitor. More and more people are going it alone, especially when the estate is small. Common errors include miscalculating the inheritance tax liability or missing out on reliefs.
Paying the beneficiaries of the will.
You will need to open a separate executor’s account with a bank. You cannot do this through your account. The transactions will need to be kept separate from your personal affairs.
Caroline Anstee, Managing Director of Anstee & Co said-
“In many cases, family or friends are well placed to handle a trust or estate professionally and cost-effectively, especially ones below the inheritance tax threshold. However, I would personally recommend that you appoint a solicitor. They will act impartially and objectively. Also, their independence can also help smooth out any underlying family issues.”
How much will professional advice cost?
Solicitor firms will charge in different ways. Some may quote an hourly rate, others may offer a fixed rate. The total cost will always come down to the complexities and size of the estate. Ask for a written quote from several solicitors before you engage with one.
How Anstee & Co can help you.
We are a firm of Independent Financial Advisers (IFA’s). This means that the advice we offer executors is unbiased. Our team of financial advisers can help you with estate planning.
The first “getting to know you” meeting, is at our expense and is without obligation. Furthermore, why not arrange a meeting today to see how we can design a financial solution for you as an executor.
- Kettering, Northamptonshire
- Stamford, Lincolnshire
- London, Pall Mall, Greater London
Also, our financial advisers live and make use of meeting rooms located at-
- Bedford, Bedfordshire
- Market Harborough, Leicestershire
- Northampton, Wellingborough, Brackley and Towcester in Northamptonshire.
Finally, the information contained in this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute advice. No action should be taken based on this information alone.