Thorough Guide To Executor & Administrator Roles
At the moment a person passes away, several agendas are set in motion.
- The police or hospital will notify the relevant authorities.
- Family members will be contacted. Processes begin to officiate the death.
- One of the main aspects aside of funeral arrangements will be the handling of the will and the deceased’s estate.
What is an executor of a will?
Any named Executor will have to visit the local Probate Registry Office to gain permission to carry out these duties and have a variety of financial assessments on the Estate take place.
What Is An Administrator Of A Will?
What Are Letters of Administration?
There cannot be both an Executor and an Administrator unless one or the other have been removed or they have stepped down, the Administrator can only be legally appointed by the Probate Registry Office.
Again, they can be a family member distant or close related, a friend or the family solicitor. These ‘Letter’s enable an Administrator to carry out the full wishes of the Will and disperse the Estate.
There is one exemption to there being a named Executor and an appointee who might receive Letters of Administration.
If the Will throughout sees only one mention of a single beneficiary, then this person can automatically become the Administrator and receive Letters of Administration and override the named Executor but usually they would be the same person.
When Are Letters Of Administration Not Required?
Wills and legalities after death tend to apply to property and ownership, after which debts and other financial assets.
But primarily an Executor or Administrator with Letters of Administration will be carrying out wishes related to property.
Where there are no properties involved or large assets to mention, it is less complicated.
How Does Someone Become An Administrator Of An Estate?
How Does Someone Become An Administrator Of An Estate?
- Through centuries of Probate being handled by the State, an order of first refusal has been drawn up to counter any arguments.
- While historically an Estate may have passed to the first Son, there is no such problem in UK law when it comes to the Commoner.
- The following is stipulated, and a Grant of Representation would be first handed to a Civil Partner / Husband or Wife – not an unmarried partner unless stated in the Will and Testament itself or Letter of Wishes.
- Then to Child, Grand Child, Parent, Sister / Brother, Nephew or Niece or to the closest relative after these. Nominally the next of kin.
What Happens When I Visit The Local Probate Registry Office?
How Long before I Receive Letters Of Administration Or Probate?
Being slightly different to a named Executor of a will, which can take a few hours to a few days to receive Probate.
An Administrator may well have to wait up to six weeks to have all avenues investigated and all data collated to ensure a claim is authentic and won’t be contested by another living soul.
It could take as short as three weeks but there may be complications.
Please ask if you have any responsibilities that can be taken care of during this duration or perhaps prepare for once accepted so you can carry out your duties quickly.
What Are An Administrator Or Executor's Responsibilities?
a) Are the debts more than the total worth of the Estate assets?
If so you may consider contacting a solicitor so as to find out the best way to meet these legal demands, a kind of priority as to who should get paid and who might lose out.
b) Do you know and understand the Rules of Intestacy?
If a person dies intestate – without a will.
There are strict guidelines for how an Estate should be distributed. You should adhere to these rules or consult a solicitor.
c) If you are the sole beneficiary of the estate as well as the Executor things are much simplified.
However you still need to go through the following list as comprehensively as possible.
If the estate is over a certain value then in all likelihood the Probate office will have already informed you of the amount of inheritance tax that is required to be paid before you distribute assets to the beneficiaries or yourself.
There is a threshold and you may not need to pay anything.
Gather all documents and make best use of them when approaching HM Revenue and Customs and the Probate Registry.
Ensure you collect any amounts due to the estate by way of loans.
If there are joint properties or companies involved, use the service of a solicitor and make sure the partner in each relationships understand their obligations.
This is not a necessity for you if not the named joint holder, it simply tidies up affairs.
If there are any other beneficiaries, please ensure parties are notified of what they have been bequeathed.
The named people do not have any legal obligation to take on furniture, properties or responsibility for pets or children if they don’t wish to.
What If I Don't Want To Be The Executor Of A Will?
- An occasion might arise whereby a person named as an Executor does not with to carry out that duty.
- There might be a variety of reasons for this but one would suspect they are all personal.
- If a will has identified you as the role of Executor you are not obliged to take up that role.
- Although having found yourself named, you will have to redirect the handling of the Estate to another person or leave it to others to decide. This can be achieved via two avenues.
These instances can both occur if:
- The person who made the will has died and you have been named as an Executor but not wish to fulfil the duties.
- You do not wish to use form PA1 and nominate another family member or friend as the Executor for the estate.
- The estate has not been delved into, split or acted upon already
What If An Appointed Executor Is Behaving Incorrectly?
Being an Executor of an Estate should be a privilege. In most cases the Executor is the sole or lead beneficiary, especially when the death was to do with old age.
There may be circumstances when an Executor or Administrator is deemed to be out of their depth, either through no fault of their own or because they are wilfully carrying out duties incorrectly for a reason.
Such reasons to wish to disqualify someone from their position are:
- Accounting records do not stack up to previously assessed inventory
- There has been collusion with other parties or assets have been stolen from a beneficiary or hidden
- If a court order has been issued and rules are not adhered to
- If the estate itself has to be managed for a period before dispersal and this isn’t happening
- Your first point of contact in this situation should be the Executor.
- You can ask them to provide an up to date account and record of the administration thus far.
- This may tempt them into bucking their ideas up or asking for your help.
- If you are still not convinced then you can apply to a judge to replace the Executor, this is by no means easy however and would require distinctive proof their duties have been wholly misplaced.
- Only beneficiaries of a will or next of kin can apply for such measures.
- An unmarried partner may not hold any sway and you should really attest the will or have your name included in the will as a point of fact of what could happen in the future.
- A court may agree to removal if the following is proven; if the executor is disqualified (in prison or institutionalised), unable to confirm to the rules of the role (mentally unfit) or exceptionally unsuited to the role asked of them.
How Might I Petition For An Executor To Be Removed?
Failure to do either will see Grant of Probate handed to the named objector.
Items that may support your court applications are as follows:
- A certified copy of the Letters of Administration or Grant of Probate
- A witness statement suggesting why the current Executor is failing in their duties
- A signed document and statement from a solicitor backing the motion
- Another secondary witness statement to show why the suggested Executor would be a better appointment