EXECUTOR OF A WILL - IRELAND
Executor of a Will – Cork and Dublin Will Solicitors
A legal personal representative is nominated to administer the estate and take out a grant of probate in the event of your death. This person is nominated by you at the time of making your will and is referred to as the Executor. It is in your best interests to nominate more than one individual as the role of the executor can be onerous at times.
Appointing an executor for your will Cork and Dublin
Once an individual takes on the role of executor they are responsible for the administration of your estate. Their role as executor is permanent and they will always remain the executor. It is with this in mind that it is vitally important that they discharge their duties correctly and appropriately to protect this role. It is advisable that prior to nominating an executor, that you speak with the individual and get clarification on their willingness to take on and act in this role. They are under no legal obligation to act, so it serves both parties well to ascertain willingness in advance.
Duties of the executor :
1. Protect and insure all assets for beneficiaries.
2. Arrange for the deceased assets to be valued at the time of death.
3. Extract grant of probate.
4. Ascertain all liabilities and debts.
5. Gather assets.
6. Gather all necessary and relevant tax clearance documentation.
7. Prepare accounts for administration.
8. Distribute the estate (assets, monies etc.) in accordance with the will.
Problems that may arise for the executor :
In most cases we see that the larger the estate the more difficult the role can be for the executor. Let’s take a look at an example; a deceased person who leaves behind a house, a number of bank accounts, shares and stocks will need quite significant work to administer. However, even in the case where an individual has quite a small estate with only one or two beneficiaries, complications can arise. Perhaps the beneficiaries are living abroad and have no known last address, an existing business might have been left with large company debts or the will may be challenged by family members who feel they have been left out of the will unfairly.
Will Solicitors, Cork
The executor of the will needs to efficiently discharge their duties, taking all the necessary precautions – as they would with their own property or assets. They may not delegate this role to anyone else, however they may employ other professionals to assist with the process. These professionals may include solicitors, auctioneers or accountants.
If the executor fails in their duties through negligence or fraud and puts the deceased persons assets at risk or at worst exposes themselves to liability, they may be sued for damages.
• Failure to administer the estate in a timely manner can result in liability for any financial loss that is incurred by the beneficiaries.
• Failure to protect the assets of the estate mean that the executor can be held personally responsible for any uninsured or unsecured property.
• Failure to distribute the estate in the manner in which the deceased has specified will result in personal liability for the executor.
• Personal liability lies with the executor for payments to creditors up to and including any tax liabilities.
In the vast majority of circumstances an executor of a will acts in good faith, however, disagreements can occur between beneficiaries and the executor, which can result in legal action. Other risks that can impact the executor can include relationships with families, economic circumstances and the personalities involved in the distribution of the estate. Expectations of the beneficiaries may not always be met, despite the best efforts of the executor.
Time Commitments :
It is important to note that one of the most significant drawbacks to being an executor is the time needed to commit to the distribution of the estate. This is why we recommend hiring a solicitor who is well versed in the area of wills and probate to handle the more difficult tasks.
Before you commit to becoming an executor of a will, you should be aware of the time commitments involved and the many jobs you will be tasked with. You will require significant time and energy and a keen eye for detail – lots of detail.
Possible Delays :
Upon lodgement of the application for probate, it is important to know that the process may take a minimum of four months. This delay will mean that assets such as land and monies can not be accessed or distributed until the grant of probate is issued. Money may be required in the interim to pay bills, taxes or debts left by the deceased. Speak to a member of our will drafting team to find out what can be done in instances such as this.
Will Solicitor, Dublin
Whilst being an executor of a will is a challenging role, the hard truth is that someone has to be responsible for the fair distribution of assets. Be aware of all the challenges that lie ahead before you commit to this important role. From TV and movies we are accustomed to thinking that a simple reading of the will occurs and distribution is instant, this is not how it works.
See the invitation to act as an executor as a privilege, you have been asked to take responsibility for all the worldly goods of another and they clearly have full trust in you to do so. It is however important to decline if you feel you would not be suitable or able for the role.
There are other options for the maker of the will if you feel you are not a suitable executor, they may find another individual they trust or hire a personal legal representative to take on the role. A sense of obligation should not be the deciding factor in whether you take on this role, simply weigh up the risks and benefits or speak to a member of our team if you have any questions.