What Happens If An Executor Dies?
If an executor of a will dies, it can be a stressful time.
It might be that you have other executors named in the will, which would mean that it will be their responsibility to deal with the estate.
But if all of the named executors have died before the deceased then it might be necessary to obtain Letters of Administration, as the estate needs an administrator.
What Is A Letter Of Administration?
Distributing the assets of an estate following the death of a loved one is an important role.
The executor takes on the responsibility and administers the estate – but if they’re unable to do so or they’re no longer alive, an administrator will need to be appointed.
That requires a Letter of Administration.
It might be that the will hasn’t been updated in some time and the executor has since passed away or perhaps they no longer live in the UK.
The situations where a Letter of Administration might be required include:
- If no will has been made and the person has died intestate
- The will has been declared invalid
- No executors were named in the will
It might also be necessary to apply for a Letter of Administration if you are the sole beneficiary of the estate, since that wouldn’t require an executor who is not yourself to administer the estate.
Usually, the administrator is the next of kin of the deceased, and there’s a specific order of priority that this takes, starting with a surviving spouse or civil partner.
However, unmarried partners usually aren’t eligible unless they’re the sole beneficiary.
The order of preference is then as follows:
- Niece or nephew
If none of these relatives exist or if they’re not able to receive Letters of Administration, then it will go to the next available relative in order of closeness.
How Do I Apply For Probate?
Applying for probate can be broken down into several stages, the first of which is registering the death.
This must be done within five days of the death in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and you’ll then be given a death certificate as confirmation.
After that, the rest of the process will work as follows:
- Step one is to gain a valuation on the estate
- You’ll then file inheritance tax (IHT) forms
- After this, probate applications will be filed
- Then probate fees will be paid
- And finally, IHT will be paid
Getting a valuation on the deceased’s estate will involve establishing all of their assets and liabilities, as well as locating all accounts in their name.
This may be straightforward, but quite often can become complicated if there are multiple pensions, investments, properties, or assets in their name.
Any properties that are included in the estate will also need to be valued, which can be done by looking at comparable house sales.
However, if inheritance tax is an issue, then you might need a written valuation. An estate agent or surveyor will be able to assist you with that to make sure everything is accurate for tax purposes.
The nil-rate band for IHT is £325,000. Inheritance tax is currently taxed at 40% of anything above the £325,000 threshold – so, if you’re estate is worth £400,000, then you’ll pay £30,000 in inheritance tax since that’s 40% of £75,000.
Solicitors Near Me – Can We Help You?
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