If you are named as Executor in a Will, you will realise that is is a great honour to be asked. You will similarly be aware that substantial responsibility comes with the role and smooth sailing is not always guaranteed.
Legal Personal Representative
The umbrella term for Executors and Administrators is ‘Legal personal representative’. If somebody made a Will and appointed another to look after his or her affairs on death, this person is called an Executor. If somebody passes away without a Will, the person who looks after their loved ones affairs on death is called an Administrator.
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We have acted for hundreds of legal personal representatives, guiding them through the process from start to finish. Communication is very important to us, so that our clients are always kept up to date.
We are always happy to speak to clients old and new alike, so please give us a call or send us an email to let us know how we can help you.Contact Us
My friend / family member recently passed away.. I am named as Executor in the Will or my friend / family member did not have a Will, I am next of kin… What Do I Do?
1. Please contact us for an initial chat and as always we need to be a good match for each other. Dealing with a loved ones estate can be a lengthy task, so it is important that you have a great working relationship with your solicitor.
2. We will send you a Welcome Pack. This will include a useful and detailed guide to your role as Legal Personal Representative, to include responsibilities and time lines. We will also furnish you with information on areas to get started working on to include
- Collecting any financial information and assets from your loved ones home, details of accounts, share certificates etc
- Organising and obtaining a death certificate
- Obtaining up to date details of the address of the beneficiaries and family members
3. We all have different lives, different estates, so no case is the same as another. We have worked on hundreds of estates and always are mindful of costs, family relations, speed in finalising matters. It is not always necessary to extract a Grant and we will advise on this.
4. If a Grant is necessary, we will work with you to collect all necessary information.
5. We will then prepare all papers to lead to a Grant of representation. We tend to email draft papers to our Executors in advance of having all completed.
6. After the Grant has issued, we will arrange for the collection of assets and payment of outstanding debts.
7. We will advise you on all responsibilities and taxes.
8. We will then arrange distribution of the Estate according to the wishes of the Testator if there is a Will or as per the Rules of Intestacy if there is no Will.
9. As always, when all is completed we will send a Thank you Pack. We work very closely with our Executor clients and build a close and effective relationship.
We appreciate there can be many questions and challenges along the way. Here is a question which we recently addressed in the Sunday Independent:
My father passed away recently and left his entire estate to his four children (myself, my sister and my two brothers).
The will states that all my father’s assets are to be realised into cash and divided equally between the four of us. I am the eldest child and the executor of the will.
As we are all in our Thirties and Forties, we have all long moved out of the family home – apart from my younger brother, who moved back in with my father four years ago. My younger brother never paid any rent or bills when he moved back in with my father. He also assumed he would be left the house when my father passed away and was shocked when he read the will. My younger brother insists the house was promised to him verbally by my father when my father was still alive. So he is now refusing to leave the house, he is refusing to let valuers into the house (for the sake of probate) and he is refusing to cooperate with any of his siblings – or the solicitor. My other two siblings and I want to sell my father’s home – and we feel that our younger brother, who currently has no savings of his own, would be able to buy his own place with his portion of the sale proceeds. Does our younger brother have a right to stay in the home and if not, how can we enforce the sale of our father’s home as smoothly as possible? In the event that my younger brother has a right to stay in the home, what can we do to ensure we get the share of the estate which my father had in mind for each of us?
It is helpful that you are named as Executor of the Will as this puts you in a strong position to ensure that your Dads wishes as per his Will take effect. When your Dad was alive your younger brother was entitled to move back into the family home and stay as this was what your Dad wanted. On your Dads passing, this arrangement changed and you as Executor had and have authority to make decisions. As Executor pursuant to Section 50 of the Succession Act 1965 you have the power of sale. You are obliged to take the views of the beneficiaries into account and in the case of dispute, of the majority.
Your brother does not have any right to stay in the house at this stage. A verbal promise if made is not enforceable. However your brother could claim a right to the property on the basis of promissory estoppel.
You will want to retain family relations as much as possible and afford your brother an opportunity to find alternative accommodation. Finally, you could sell the house to your brother.