How long does an Executor of a Will have to settle an Estate?
Posted on 19th August 2021
Generally speaking, the administration of an Estate will take around 9-12 months. However, depending on the size and complexity of the deceased person’s Estate, this can take longer. In this post, our specialist solicitors for Wills and Probate discuss the steps involved in settling an Estate as an Executor, and what can be done if they are taking an unreasonable amount of time.
What does the Executor of a Will need to do to settle an Estate?
There are several important steps involved in acting as the Executor of a Will. These include, but are not limited to:
1. Valuing the Estate- this involves locating everything owned by the deceased, deducting any outstanding debts from the total, and determining the amount of inheritance tax to be paid on the Estate value.
This process can become extremely complicated, and there are numerous important considerations that must be made. If you require any assistance with the process, do not hesitate to contact MG Legal’s specialist Wills and Probate solicitors today, here.
2. Applying for a Grant of Probate- Once any inheritance tax has been paid, the Executor must then apply for a Grant of Probate, which is a legal document allowing them to begin dealing with the affairs of the deceased person.
3. Collecting the assets and settling the debts- This includes sorting pension funds, cashing in on any existing insurance policies of the deceased, and selling any property. This can only be done when any outstanding debts have been settled.
4. Distributing the Estate- Only after all of these steps have been carefully followed can the Executor begin distributing what is left of the Estate to the beneficiaries accordingly, in line with the Will itself. This includes locating any unknown beneficiaries and contacting them.
How long does an executor have to sell a house uk?
The selling of the property as a part of the Estate is often a source of contention between Executors and Beneficiaries, who are often family members with personal opinions on what should be done with the property, and how much it should be sold for.
While the Executor must always act in the best interest of the Beneficiaries, and therefore should always try to sell any properties for a reasonable price, they are under no obligation to take any advice on pricing or time-scales from the Beneficiaries. They can work at their own speed, and how they best see fit to deal with the selling of the property.
What is the ‘Executor’s Year’?
From the date at which the deceased passed away, there is an accepted period of 12 months for the Executor or Executors to begin the distribution of the Estate. This is known as ‘Executor’s Year’, and allows good time for the locating of beneficiaries etc.
Still, if there are complications with finding beneficiaries, establishing claimants, or selling any property or other assets included in the Estate, this could easily take longer than this time period.
What can I do if the Executor is causing unreasonable delays?
If you are a beneficiary of an Estate and the 12 month Executor’s Year is up, or you believe that the Executor is causing unnecessary delays in the process, then your first step should be to contact the Executor in writing expressing your concerns and asking for an update in the form of an account of Estate activities. If this does not help, you can then make an application to the Court in order to obtain an update.
How can MG Legal help with Estate matters?
While the process can seem long, it is important to recognise how much goes into it, and not put unnecessary pressures on the Executors.
If you are acting as an Executor of a Will, and are struggling with any aspect of the process, from Inheritance Tax to the Granting of Probate, then get in touch with MG Legal’s specialist team of Wills and Probate solicitors today.
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