Should I seek legal advice as an executor?
February 10, 2023
If you’ve been appointed as the executor of a will, you don’t have to do everything yourself. It is important to consider whether you have the time to handle the admin that comes with administering an estate, as well as enough knowledge of your legal obligations to ensure you don’t make an expensive mistake that leaves you personally financially liable. Seeking legal advice can make things easier and bring you peace of mind. You don’t even have to use a solicitor for the whole process, if you want to save costs and do some of the legwork yourself.
How can a solicitor help?
We recommend contacting a solicitor at the start of the process. They will be able to help you with any, or all, of the following:
– Determining whether the will is valid
– Valuing the estate and assets
– Searching for any other wills
– Identifying any unknown assets and creditors
A solicitor can also help prepare the often long and complicated Inheritance Tax forms and advise which reliefs you can claim to minimise the amount of tax due.
One of the main reasons people seek legal advice when it comes to probate, is to reduce their risk of making an expensive mistake. As the executor of a will, you are personally responsible for any financial losses experienced by the beneficiaries, including those resulting from neglecting to apply for eligible tax reliefs or missing application deadlines.
Why use a solicitor?
If you want to protect yourself and have the peace of mind that everything is being handled properly, you may want to seek counsel from an expert. A wills and probate solicitor can help you with as much or as little of the process as you require.
You may decide you want to relieve yourself of the burden and hand everything over to them to deal with. You will still make the decisions and sign the forms, but everything will be prepared for you, and you can be assured you understand the choices you are being asked to make.
Alternatively, you may want a solicitor to just handle the Grant of Probate application and Inheritance Tax forms. You can then gather in all the assets and distribute them yourself.
If you would like to discuss your concerns and find out how we can help, call Beth King on 020 8313 1300 or email her at email@example.com for a FREE 15-minute Probate Review session.
In the session we will:
1. Get an overview of the estate, assets and liabilities
2. Identify any areas of concern which may need investigation
3. Consider if there are any possible areas for tax savings that might be explored
4. Look at how we can help you resolve any disputes or issues which have already arisen
Get further useful advice in our free guide for executors.
The information contained in this article is intended for general guidance only. It provides useful information but it is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice as the articles do not take into account specific circumstances. So do please Contact US for legal advice on the issues raised.