Archive for October, 2015

Has a friend or relative asked you to administer their will? If so, beware of the legal and financial liabilities you could face.

If someone has asked you to be the executor of their will, beware of biting off more than you can chew. Although being appointed executor can be a sign of the esteem in which you are held by a friend or family member, the role can be extremely challenging and carries significant – and potentially very costly – legal liability.

Recent research from Executors Insurance, a company that sells policies to protect executors against a number of issues suggests that millions of people have accepted the role of executor without fully understanding the legal and financial liabilities they could face.

The survey found that while 47% of those who had in the past executed a will found the process straightforward, 17% reported that the experience was harder than they expected, while a further 12% said it was “a complete nightmare”.

Executors Insurance estimates that around six million people have executed a will in the past, with five million currently named as executors but yet to carry out their duties. In around three-quarters of wills, family members or friends are named as executors rather than professionals such as solicitors or bank officials.

“The responsibilities of an executor are very rarely talked about,” says Executors Insurance spokesperson Guy Everington. “Your liability should anything go wrong is not only personal and unlimited, it is also joint and several. This means that if there are other executors and one of the others makes a mistake, you could be held liable. If you have money and the others don’t, any unhappy parties are likely to come after you.”

As an executor, you can be held liable for mistakes for up to 12 years rather than the six years commonly applied in contract law. The liability can be extended a further three years if minors are involved, Everington says. But his company’s research found that 43% of people thought liability ended once all payments had been made from the estate.

Everington adds that the number of cases being brought against executors appears to be increasing. Figures from the High Court in England show there were 107 claims against executors for breach of duty in 2012 but 368 in 2013.

One possible reason for the rise in the number of claims is the increasingly fragmented nature of families. “The extent of extended families, including split families and second families, is growing and that is definitely increasing exposure,” Everington says.

For the full article :

WE Solicitors say:

If you are appointed as an executor of an estate, particularly where it is more complex than dealing with a few bank accounts, it is advisable to get legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in Probate as they will know the pitfalls to avoid. It is a big responsibility to take on the role without advice or help. A Solicitor can guide you through the process and has a duty to the executor and the estate – so also then the beneficiaries – to ensure the estate is dealt with correctly. It is common practice for an executor to instruct a solicitor to help with an estate as ultimately it is for the benefit of all parties involved. The beneficiaries will know the estate is being dealt with in the correct way. Any recourse will lie with the firm for both the executor and the beneficiary.

Not all solicitors’ costs are expensive. At we solicitors llp we give a fixed fee upfront and explain exactly what is included in the cost. There are no percentage charges and we can obtain the Grant of Probate from as little as £500 + VAT. We can do as little or as much as you want us to do.

We are happy to give a no obligation quote and some initial advice as to what you would need to do. You can also compare this to other firms so you can see how much we do and offer for our professional service.

If you are an executor and you would like to know more contact

 WE SOLICITORS LLP and see how we can help you


Telephone: 0800 294 3065 / 0161 683 3191


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