What Are the Differences between Administrators, Executors, and Personal Representatives?If there is a valid Will that is in place, then the Personal Representative is called the Executor. On the other hand, if there isn’t a Will in place, then the Personal Representative is called the Administrator. A Personal Representative is essentially the individual who is responsible for dealing with the assets of a deceased individual. These assets might include both financial investments and physical property but are collectively termed as the Estate. A Personal Representative is endowed with both the legal responsibility and the authority to administer an Estate. He or she might also eventually be held accountable if there are any mistakes made.
Have You Recently Been Named as an Executor?If you’ve been requested to be someone’s Executor, then you are named as that in the Will of the deceased. In cases where there isn’t a Will, then the position of Administrator will be determined according to a rigid legal order of priority, which is commonly called the Rules of Intestacy. These Rules of Intestacy will also set out how an Estate is to be distributed.
Executor Responsibilities and Duties ExplainedIf you do get named as an Executor in someone’s Will, then it might bring with it a number of duties that are complex, hard, and time-consuming. Completing them often takes up a full calendar year. It’s essential to get everything done properly, since the Executor is held legally accountable for the administration of an Estate in a way that is simultaneously in accordance with both the law and the terms stipulated in the Will. Any Executor is personally responsible for every single thing they either fail to do or actually do, in terms of the Estate. Acting as an Executor of any Will can prove to be an intimidating role considering how much responsibility there is in terms of tax, legal, and administrative roles. The duties of an Executor will last for the entire duration of an Estate administration. They might even carry forward into an ongoing Trust.
Executor Duties Might Include:
- Heading to Court to apply for a Grant of Representation, the confirmation of acknowledged legal authority for the administration of an Estate. If this gets done by the Executor named in the Will, then this is known as Grant of Probate; if there isn’t a valid Will, then this is known as Letters of Administration.
- Identifying and then dealing with any and all valid claims standing against the Estate.
- The completion and submission of the IHT (Inheritance Tax return) and then paying any owed Inheritance Tax.
- The completion of any relevant Capital Gains or Income Tax returns before paying any owed and outstanding taxes.
Estate Administration Obligations
- The notification and correspondence with any relevant organisations so that the deceased’s assets can be transferred or cashed in order to pay the liabilities and debts of the Estate.
- Searching for any missing or unclaimed assets.
- The preparation and distribution of Estate accounts to any relevant parties.
- The correct distribution of any residue left of the Estate to its beneficiaries.
Personal Representative Obligations ExplainedIt’s possible for a personal representative to be held financially liable on an individual level for losses that results from breach of duty, even when mistakes were committed in good faith, like the following:
- Failing to pay the liabilities and debts of the deceased.
- Failing to pay any and all Capital Gains, Income, and Inheritance Taxes that are due.
- Failing to distribute the funds to individuals that have successful claims filed against the Estate.
- Failing to identify and then correctly distribute the funds to beneficiaries, which might include some not known about initially.