The legal side of executorship

Although you don’t need to have specific legal knowledge to be an executor, you nevertheless need to take care when taking on the role, as you can be found personally liable, should you not carry out the probate process properly.

Your first action should be to ensure that any valuables, including the deceased’s home, continues to be fully ensured during this time in case of accident or intentional damage. 

Secondly, it is always advisable to use the services of professional probate valuers to ensure that whatever is sold, is done so at a reasonable cost, ensuring that beneficiaries are left with as much of the estate as possible.

Remember that all debts must be identified and paid (including Inheritance Tax) before any remaining assets can be distributed.

Always advertise the person’s death, so that any potential claimants or creditors can get in contact and any disputes have a chance to be ironed out.

Finally, it goes without saying that you must be able to demonstrate at all times that your actions were carried out in the best interests of the deceased and the beneficiaries, not your own personal gain.

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