If you have been appointed an Executor by a deceased relative or friend, this means that you have to extract a Grant of Probate in the estate of the deceased person. Your solicitor will assist you in this process.
As an appointed Executor, you have both powers and duties which commence on the date of death. The estate of the deceased person including all of their assets ( house, bank accounts, car etc) passes on to you temporarily as Executor until such time as a Grant of Probate issues and you can give effect to the bequests contained in the Will. Your solicitor will guide and advise you throughout the process and simplify the process for you as far as possible.
Below are some of the primary duties which fall on you as an appointed Executor. This list is by no means exhaustive and particular issues will arise depending on the estate.
(i) Ensure that the wishes of the deceased are given effect to in so far as they relate to funeral, interment etc and ensure that a death certificate is obtained by next of kin.
(ii) Ascertain the extent of the deceased person’s estate. Correspondence in the deceased person’s possession at the time of death will assist in this regard. It may be necessary to contact various financial institutions to find out if the deceased held bank accounts with them. Additionally, if the deceased person lived in other countries for periods during their lives, investigations may have to be carried out in those countries also.
(iii) The appointed Executor must ensure that all debts owed by the deceased at the time of death are accounted for and paid out of the estate.The executor must also ensure that all funeral expenses are paid.
(iv) The Executor must trace all of the beneficiaries outlined in the deceased person’s Will.
(v) With the assistance of a Valuer, the executor must ensure that a value of the deceased person’s estate is arrived at. This is important for Revenue purposes.
(vi) An account of all of the assets and liabilities must be made to the Revenue Commissioners. If the Revenue is satisfied with the account made (called the Schedule of Assets), the Office of the Revenue Commissioners will issue a Certificate which will enable the executor to apply to the Probate Office for the Grant of Probate.
(vii) As Executor, you must insure that, pending the Grant of Probate and distribution of the estate, the assets are protected. For example, if the assets include a dwellinghouse or apartment, the Executor must ensure that the property is insured in the event of fire or theft.
(viii) When the Grant of Probate has issued, the appointed Executor must distribute the assets in accordance with the Will (which the Grant of Probate has now validated). The executor must also ensure that all taxes due on the bequests are paid and that the relevant Tax Clearance Certificates are obtained from the Revenue Commissioners. See Inheritance Tax
(ix) When the estate is finalised and all of the bequests have been settled, the Executor must produce a set of Estate Accounts which outlines all money received and paid out. Beneficiaries are entitled to see these accounts under the law.
(x) At all times, the appointed Executor must ensure that he/she manages the deceased person’s affairs in the same which a prudent person would manage their own affairs. The Executor will have been chosen by the deceased person because the deceased person trusts him/her to carry out their wishes. If you have any queries regarding your role as Executor please Contact Us.
A Grant of Probate is not necessary in the following circumstances:
- If a person dies leaving small amounts of money in a bank, building society etc in his/her own name, that financial institution may agree to release the funds without the necessity for a grant. The financial institution’s decision is final.
- If a person dies leaving assets which were held by him/her jointly with another or other persons, those assets as a general rule become the sole property of the survivor/s on the death of the deceased. In cases of doubt, the intention of the deceased at the time the joint account was created is relevant.
- If a person dies and leaves no assets, there is generally no need to extract a grant.
We are here to help. Please do not hesitate to telephone us at 091 – 586760 or email us to discuss your claim.