Expert Discusses Administering An Estate And Time Constraints

A bereavement can be a difficult process to move through. When a person is asked to become the Personal Representative (PR) or executor of a deceased’s estate, it is imperative that all liabilities and assets are found to avoid an already painful time from becoming overwhelming. 

Ideally, the executor will collate all assets, discharge their liabilities and then distribute the balance in accordance with the deceased’s wishes instructed by the Will or through the rules of intestacy. Unfortunately, this is not always a simple process – especially in a manic 21st century world when time is a precious commodity. 

Due diligence waters can also be shrouded in a thicker mist when unknown assets are considered. Whether it is a secreted vault in the wall or unforeseen assets due to the estate from mis-sold banking policies like PPI, the executor has a responsibility to ensure they have exhausted all avenues. 

Executors also need to ensure that the estate receives a competitive price for any assets sold before capital is distributed amongst the beneficiaries. Failing to secure this could mean an executor is liable for the discrepancy. 

When the estate’s main asset is property, so much pressure is placed on the executor’s proverbial shoulders to ensure they receive the best deal possible.  

Michael Edwards, Service Delivery Director at Executor Solutions explains the main difficulties executors face and the ways their administrative burden can be eased.  

What issues do executors face when administering an estate? 

The issues faced vary depending on whether the Executor is a legal professional or an individual, but the common theme is time. Particularly when there are assets that need to sold or disposed of, this is a very time consuming process, especially for individuals who have never had to deal with this before. 

What help is available to executors and personal representatives? 

There are some great impartial online resources for individuals which help guide them through the process and help them with what they need to do and when they need to do it. Many solicitors and probate providers will also have useful guides on the process, including our own website which has a 10 step guide taking the executor from the immediate steps that executors need to take right through to distributing the estate. 

Why can distributing property as an executor become difficult? 

Again, the main difficulty for many is simply having the time do it all. From clearing the property and insuring it, to getting it ready to market and managing the subsequent sale, this is all very time consuming. On top of the time, for many people these are things they have never dealt with before and they just don’t know where to start. This is why Executor Solutions was founded, to offer these services all under one roof from an experienced team of property experts and ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible.  

Executor Solutions are proudly sponsoring the last Today’s Wills and Probate Awards on November 12, what are you looking forward to about the day? 

It’s a chance to meet with other companies and individuals who are working in the same industry and get their take on the topics of the day. As a service provider to the industry, it’s a great way to understand the issues faced by our clients so we can adapt our service offering and help them overcome those issues 

What topics will you be discussing at the roundtable? 

The key topics are compliance in the legal industry, employee recruitment and retention and regulated and unregulated legal services. These are topics which effect Executor Solutions and will be a good opportunity to offer our take on the issues of the day and how they effect our part of the probate process. 

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