Providing clear and straightforward advice
If a family member or loved one has died, the prospect of sorting out their financial affairs can be a daunting prospect. The responsibility for dealing with matters rests with the Executor(s) who are the person(s) appointed in the Will to act as the administrator(s) of the estate. If there is no Will, application has to be made to the Sheriff Court who would then appoint an Executor. Often the Executor appoints a Solicitor to help them carry out their duties which makes the process more streamlined and stress free.
Stuart & Stuart are here to help
Regardless of whether a Will has been left or not, appointing Stuart & Stuart to assist brings the advantage of having the estate administered by an expert. We can provide as much or as little assistance as you need and if required can deal with the whole of the administration on your behalf.
The role of an Executor
If you are named as an Executor it can bring with it complicated and sometimes onerous duties when someone dies and often takes months to complete. It is important to understand the process because the Executor(s) is liable for any mistakes made during the course of winding up the estate.
Although not exhaustive, here is a summary of the responsibilities of an Executor:
- In gathering all of the assets of the estate
- Valuing the estate
- Applying to the Court for Confirmation
- Ensuring all debts are paid
- Calculating and paying any inheritance tax
- Arranging, if necessary interim funding to pay inheritance tax
- Calculating and completing income tax returns and settling outstanding tax
- Calculating and paying capital gains tax
- Distributing the remainder of the estate in accordance with the Will
- Preparing Estate Accounts and providing a copy to the beneficiaries
Some of these duties, such as inheritance tax payments, must be carried out within short time scales and it therefore makes sense to pass this to a professional executor such as Stuart & Stuart who are experienced in administering estates.
Dying without a Will
Dying without a Will means that the person has died ‘Intestate’ in which case the laws of intestacy govern the distribution of their estate. This clearly complicates matters for the family or potential beneficiaries and it is therefore becomes important to seek advice. Stuart and Stuart can advise family members or potential beneficiaries on the best way forward.
If the deceased had an Attorney
It is a common misconception that an Attorney can continue to act on behalf of a deceased person after their death. It is important to note that the responsibilities of an Attorney stop on the day of the grantors death. Therefore an Attorney no longer has access to the deceased person’s affairs including Bank and Building Society accounts
The responsibility on the date of death is passed onto the Executor of the estate if the individual has left a Will. Where there is no Will, the Court will appoint an Executor.