When someone close to you dies, dealing with bereavement is just one of the challenges you may have to face.
Many people drawing up a Will commonly name their children as Executors of their estate, or for those individuals that pass away without a Will (Intestate) this role is known as the Administrator and may also become the responsibility of loved ones.
There are a series of formal steps that need to be taken following a death, but unbeknownst to most Executors (around 4%) and Administrators they are also legally responsible for the accurate distribution of the estate that is entrusted to them.
Not only are they responsible for maximising the estate for the beneficiaries (those who are inheriting from the estate), the correct distribution of the estate, and ensuring that all assets and debts of the deceased are identified, they are also accountable for ensuring that any Inheritance Tax payable on the estate is paid and submitted within the appropriate timeframes. If there are any errors on the Inheritance Tax return or they are involved in a late submission, they may face fines.
The responsibility of this role can therefore make a tough time even more stressful.
Each estate is unique, and it’s difficult to predict how long the process might take from start to full completion. Probate and estate administration require a lot of time, effort, and complicated paperwork, which many Executors and Administrators find overwhelming.
Thankfully, no one needs to struggle through this task alone. Professional help is available.
There are many professional providers of probate and estate administration who can help with the process. The benefits of instructing a professional include:
Peace of mind that everything is taken care of.
The complex legal and financial work is handed over to experts.
The Executor / Administrator may be freed of the liability.
Their time is saved, and the inheritance can be distributed more quickly.
The risk of costly mistakes is reduced when a professional is involved.
The scale of help required may vary, some will only want help with probate, while others may wish to hand over the full estate administration to a professional; there are services available to suit all requirements and levels of involvement.
Additionally, this decision doesn’t necessarily need to be in the hands of your loved ones, as part of your planning you can choose to appoint a professional service to handle your estate and save your children from this burden, particularly if they already have busy lives and / or lack the right expertise.
When looking for a professional probate or estate administration provider, it’s important to consider their pricing structure. It’s best practice to look for a company that offers a fixed, transparent price, rather than charging time and expense or a percentage of the estate.
REALM Investment Management is pleased to work in partnership with an award-winning probate and estate administration specialists. We are aware that being an Executor can be challenging, with potentially serious ramifications for you and your family if you get things wrong. Our partner firm offers a comprehensive full estate administration service and can take on the legal responsibility for administering the estate. This offers peace of mind to you, our client, and means that you will have one less thing to worry about during an already tough time.
If you would like to discuss any of the above please contact us we’d be happy to help.