When making a Will, you will need to appoint an executor, which could be a member of your family, a trusted friend or a professional.
It is the executor’s role to make sure the instructions in your Will are carried out, and there are several responsibilities and duties to undertake. This can be an onerous task and many people are unprepared for the amount of work and the obligations that are required to fulfil the duty of an executor.
The duties of an executor generally include:
– Collecting the assets due to the deceased
– Pay any debts and taxes due
– Distribute the estate in accordance with the Will
– Ensure the assets, including property, are kept secure as soon as possible after the death
Whilst it is not a legal requirement to appoint a professional executor, there are clear advantages in doing so:
– Family or friends who lead busy family or business lives might not be able to afford the time required to deal with matters, especially at a time when they may be grieving for their loved ones
– If there are disputes or difficulties within the family, a professional can handle matters impartially
– By appointing a professional firm, such as The Fry Group, continuity is assured; rather than an individual the company will ensure there is someone in place to look after your affairs
– Dealing with an estate has become increasingly complex and can be a minefield for a layperson. Failure to deal with matters promptly and correctly could result in penalties being applied by HM Revenue and Customs. A professional will be aware of these rules and deadlines
– Professionals are usually aware of any Inheritance Tax exemptions or reliefs that might apply, such as assets attracting Business Property Relief, gifts out of income and the impact of claiming a domicile outside the UK. This could save your beneficiaries a considerable sum.
The Fry Group offers a comprehensive impartial executorship service run by a team of experienced professionals. Our service includes the submission of the relevant Inheritance Tax Return, which could be up to 87 pages long.
The Fry Group can work either in a sole capacity or jointly with other individuals. As mentioned, one of the duties of an executor is to identify the deceased’s assets and for existing clients we are likely to already hold this information in house, which can help to ease the administrative process.
There has been some recent negative press concerning solicitors and unauthorised payments being made from clients’ monies. It is important to note that all transactions at The Fry Group are made under dual control, and before selling any of the deceased’s assets, we consult beneficiaries and, where possible, give them the option to retain them.
Our work over the years with expatriates has also meant that we are used to dealing with overseas assets and obtaining foreign grants where necessary, which many high street law firms are likely to be less familiar with.
If you would like a free initial review of your UK Will, or would like to discuss appointing The Fry Group as an executor, please contact Ben Haulkham or telephone +44 (0)1903 222326.