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Acting as an executor

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  • Acting as an executor

    Hello, I'm new here.

    I'm an executor (together with my husband and a friend of the deceased) to my cousin's will. I held a LPA for my cousin and at the end of 2017 he went into a nursing home and we had to organise the sale of his house. His estate is relatively simple. On his behalf, I invested his money in several accounts and there are no other assets. The total estate will be below the amount needed to pay Inheritance Tax so Probate should be simple. My cousin left money to several beneficiaries, all in percentages, so, again, quite simple. What is the procedure for letting people know they are beneficiaries. Are there any templates of letters I could use? I would be very grateful for any advice. Many thanks!
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hi and welcome.

    As an executor you are not obliged to tell beneficiaries anything until you come to pay out, altho' it might be good to keep them in the loop.
    So something along the lines of:
    DearXXXX

    As you are aware Mr XYZ has passed away.

    I thought you might like to know that we Aa, bb. &myself have been appointed executors

    Administration might take some time, but we will be in contact in due course

    yours etc

    Don't be in too much of a rush to distribute the estate, just in case the unknown rears its head!

    tagging Peridot ..

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi EssexLady,

      It sounds like you are on top of things. Basically it would be advisable to obtain the Grant if it is needed (but even if not) then gather the assets together, in an executor's account if needs be. I would hold off contacting any beneficiaries until you have a better idea when you will be in a position to distribute the estate.

      Depending on whether you believe there could be any claims against the estate may dictate how quickly this can be done. If there is any question of a claim then it would be sensible to obtain a Grant and wait the 6 mths before distributing the legacies. As you have been dealing as attorney hopefully you are well aware of your cousins affairs so can make a judgment on this.

      Some beneficiaries can become quite difficult once they are aware they are due an inheritance if things are not moving as quickly as they would want so giving yourself time to gather the assets and administer the estate as far as possible before letting beneficiaries know can be a sensible course of action.

      You are not obliged to provide a copy of the Will just set out what they have been left in the Will (of course informing them that your cousin has passed away if they are unaware). Then explain you will be in touch in due course. There is no official format for a letter letting beneficiaries know so depending on your knowledge of the individuals that may guide your wording.

      If there are charity residuary beneficiaries then they will most likely expect a Grant to be obtained and full estate accounts to be presented to them. This wouldn't be necessary if they were due to receive a specific sum under a Will.
      I am a qualified solicitor and am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

      Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

      If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

      Comment

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