Administering the estate and paying the beneficiaries

Written by Terry Johansson | 13th September 2013

It is the executor’s duty to:

  • Lodge the deceased’s final tax return; 
  • Call in all assets and sell any assets if required or directed by the Will; Click here for more information.
  • Wind up any companies or continue to run them if permitted or required in the Will; 
  • Pay all liabilities including unpaid utility bills, and any capital gains tax (CGT) payable on any chargeable gains received by the deceased on the disposal of assets prior to death;
  • Provide to each beneficiary their share of the Estate in accordance with the Will.

The executor should provide copies of Probate to all holders of the deceased’s asset such as banks and companies.

The costs to administer the Estate, including any legal costs of a solicitor instructed on behalf of the executor, will usually be paid from the Estate. Also, any costs personally paid for by the executor in applying for Probate or administering the Estate will usually be reimbursed from the Estate.

To protect himself / herself if someone challenges the Will, the executor should avoid any distribution of the Estate which might prejudice that claim. See below for an outline of the legal action that may be taken against an executor. If you feel that someone may challenge the Will you should immediately obtain legal advice.

There is no deadline for the executor to distribute the Estate.  However if the executor has not distributed the estate within 12 months from the date of the deceased’s death, the beneficiaries may be  able to call on the executor to do so. In any event, it should be possible to complete the administration of a simple estate within 12 months from the date of the deceased’s death.

Once the administration of the Estate is complete, the executor must prepare a full statement of account showing how the Estate was dealt with. This account must be provided to the beneficiaries.

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