Posts tagged “Executors”

While most people in the UK believe their affairs are simple, their requirements are often quite complicated when it comes to their Will. 
 
According to recently published research online Will writing services often fail to consider things that can significantly affect the details of your Will such as marital status, children, assets, business and property ownership, overseas property investments and disinheritance. 
creating your Will on your laptop is easy but it might not be valid.
Even photo stored on your phone or in the cloud are digital assets
Social media and email accounts, cryptocurrencies, and photographs stored in the cloud are all digital assets
 
Although they are an important part of our lives, we probably haven’t given much thought to what will happen to them if we die or are unable to make decisions about them. 
 
Joint research by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and the Microsoft-funded Cloud Legal Project at Queen Mary University of London has looked at the practical issues surrounding digital assets for estate planning. 
Changes to the online probate service, MyHMCTS, for solicitors and other legal professionals came into effect on 19 August 2021. These changes could simplify and streamline the probate process for executors and administrators. 
 
 
A black gavel use in HM Court and Tribunal service hearings
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has launched a consultation on its proposals to increase probate fees. 
 
The new single fee of £273 will apply to professional and non-professional applicants, regardless of the size of the estate. The MoJ says the new fee reflects the cost of providing the service and is not intended to make a profit. 
 
Currently the fees to apply for a grant of probate for an estate valued over £5,000 are £155 for professionals and £215 for individuals. Estates worth less than £5,000 don’t pay a fee. 
 
picture of a gavel representing HM Courts & Tribunals Service
The Law Society has urged people to include ‘digital assets’ such as emails, photos, social media accounts, websites and domain names, or cryptocurrencies in their Wills
 
The Law Society commissioned a survey which found that more than nine out of ten people who have a Will have not included their digital assets. 
 
Their research showed that three quarters of the 1,000 people questioned didn’t know what happened to their online presence after they die. 
When someone dies, a personal representative (PR) is appointed to manage their estate (money, property, and possessions). If the PR is named in their Will, they are known as the executor. Part of a PR’s role is to close any bank accounts, but sometimes this isn’t straightforward and there can be several challenges. 
If someone asks you to be an executor for their Will you will be responsible for making sure their estate is properly wound up and that their wishes are carried out. 
 
There are legal responsibilities associated with being an executor, including: 
registering the death 
arranging the funeral 
valuing the estate 
paying any inheritance tax 
applying for probate 
resolving finances 
distributing the estate 
keeping estate accounts. 
 
All the costs of administering the estate and receipts should be recorded. 
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