The role of executor â€“ what do I do when money from the estate is released?
As an executor, it is your responsibility to take over the finances of the deceased person and notify creditors and relevant financial institutions that you are handling the distribution of the estate, once you have applied for Grant of Probate.
Once the probate process has ensured that money from the estate has been released, you must then settle all outstanding debts before distributing the balance of the funds as outlined in the deceased’s Will or according to the rules of intestacy.
Remember that outstanding debt does not just mean the balance owing to individual creditors. The relevant tax return forms need to be completed and submitted to HMRC so that any Capital Gains tax and Inheritance Tax can be calculated.
As the executor, you must ensure that all outstanding tax is paid and bills are settled before you can begin to distribute any assets or money from the estate. Failure to carry out the probate process accordingly, in line with English law, can bring about severe personal consequences. It is therefore always advised in all except the very smallest of estates, that the advice of a probate specialist is sought.