An administrator, executor or personal representative can be held financially liable in the event that a loss has occurred due to a breach of duty. This is allowed in both Wales and England. This can also happen if the mistake was unintentional and made in good faith.
Executor/Administrator/Personal Representative: What’s the Difference?
You might be asking questions if you have been recently bereaved, like “what is probate when someone dies?” or “what are my responsibilities?” If there is valid will, then an executor is the personal representative. If a will isn’t in place, then an administrator is the personal representative. That is one of the main differences.
A personal representative is an individual who handles the assets of the deceased person in question. Such assets can include investments, property and things of that nature. These things make up the estate, and the personal representative has the authority to administer the estate. However, if they make mistakes, then they can be held financially liable.
Were You Named as an Executor?
Were you named as an executor to someone’s estate when they pass away? Do bear in mind that if there is no will in place, then the position of administrator will be determined based on the rules of intestacy. These rules will make various determinations, such as how the estate will be distributed.
The Duties of an Executor
If you’ve been named as an executor in a will, then things can become complicated and there are duties that can take a long time to complete. It is important that an executor gets everything right because they can be held liable for mistakes that are made, whether those mistakes were made in good faith or not. As an executor, it is your responsibility to get everything right.
There are terms of the will that need to be followed. This means the executor has to administer the estate according to the will’s terms, as well as within accordance of the law. This is why it is crucial to ensure everything is done correctly.
Those who are chosen as an executor often find that it is a daunting task. This is because there are many responsibilities, such as tax responsibilities, tax and legal responsibilities. An executor is finished with their responsibilities once the estate has been fully administrated. That being said, some of the executor’s primary duties include:
- They go to court and undergo the process of making confirming that they have legal authority over the estate. This involves filling out paperwork. However, the person will need to apply for a grant of probate in the event there is no will in place.
- Identify claims that might be against the estate
- Submit the inheritance tax return
- Completing capital gains/losses tax returns
- Notifying organisations in order to transfer assets of the deceased
- Locate missing assets or unclaimed assets
If you have been named as an executor, then you might feel stressed out with everything. If you do, then don’t worry because you can contact us. We can become the executor for you.
Our probate specialists are highly skilled and trained and they work alongside experienced attorneys. Our team of professionals can help you out. We offer free initial advice too.
Personal Representative Responsibilities
Just like an executor, a personal representative can be held liable. If there is a breach of their duty, then the law can hold them accountable, most notably if they make the following mistakes:
- Not paying the debts of the person who has passed away
- Not paying the inheritance tax in full
- Not distributing assets to a person who has launched a successful claim against the deceased’s estate
- Not identifying funds that are meant for the beneficiaries
Dependents or other family members can make a claim up to six months after the grant of representation has gone into effect. Creditors of the deceased can make a claim too, but they can launch a claim against the representative. They have up to 12 years to do this. After 12 years have gone by since the person has passed away, then they cannot launch a claim against the representative.