The cost of being an Executor

Tuesday, 15 November 2016 | Deniece Lines

A recent newspaper article has highlighted some of the concerns of the lay executor and the costs and complications that can be involved in administering an estate.

The article was written by a journalist about her experience as co-executor in her late friend’s estate.  Within it she refers to the complications she feels were encountered along the way.  What the article does not do is make clear the expenses that were incurred came out of the assets of the estate and not the pocket of the executor and that where an estate involving different types of assets here and abroad of course fees must be incurred in appointing different professionals to deal with the different types of assets.

It is not a legal requirement to have solicitors deal with an estate and many executors feel it is something they want to embark on themselves without any professional help at all, often leaving the mess they have created to be cleared up by solicitors later on down the line and opening themselves up to potential claims by disgruntled beneficiaries.

There can be many pitfalls to being an executor, yes you have to ensure that correct valuations are obtained for the assets, arrange to pay inheritance tax and sometimes other taxes, deal with any foreign assets,  liquidise assets to pay beneficiaries and if you get any of this wrong there could be a personal liability.   That is one of the reasons why consideration should always be given to appointing professional Executors either solely or jointly so that you can be sure that your estate will be administered efficiently and professionally without having to burden family or friends with this onerous task.   The complications the journalist in her article refers to are in fact just a normal part of the process for an experienced probate lawyer.    While you may find that some Will writing companies will want to charge you a separate fee for appointing them as Executor in your Will, at Ascot Lawyers Ltd and most reputable SRA regulated firms there is no additional fee involved for  appointing the Partners or Directors in the firm as your Executors.  Where professional Executors are appointed it is assumed that they would deal with your estate on death and the usual charges would then apply, usually a percentage of the estate.

The main concern highlighted in the article is the cost involved in administering the estate.  It would appear that the original fee estimate had to be revised and the final cost was far more than the journalist had anticipated.

At Ascot Lawyers Ltd we offer flexible services where you can choose for us to carry out as little or as much of the work involved from our fixed fee Grant application service (which involves obtaining the Grant only) or the full package to deal with the administration of the estate from beginning to end for an agreed percentage of the value of the estate or, a pay as you go service based on an hourly rate – perhaps in combination with the fixed fee service.    Our fees are always transparent and you will know in advance what they will be.  The fees are an expense of the estate and not of the Executor.

If you’re an executor and you were thinking of doing your own probate then please do not hesitate to contact Ascot Lawyers.  Deniece Lines can be reached on 01344 512370 or please click here to contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss the benefits of instructing Ascot Lawyers as a safe alternative to doing your own probate.