Acting as an executor for an estate carries a great deal of responsibility and therefore it is important to be aware of all the potential complications that can arise.
Sometimes executors can find themselves in a difficult and unexpected situation. In this blog, we will look at one reported case which highlights the personal liability an executor can face when dealing with an inheritance tax bill.
Glynne Harris was appointed executor of an estate worth £1.2 million. Harris filed an inheritance tax return with HMRC and paid the initial taxes due. The estate included land, meaning the remaining balance owned to HMRC did not need to be paid immediately.
Mr Harris arranged for the estate to be passed onto beneficiaries, with the majority of the estate going to one individual.
Unfortunately, this beneficiary immediately fled the country to Barbados without paying the bill. This, in turn, left Mr Harris liable to pay the remainder of the £340,000 bill. He appealed against this liability, but was unsuccessful.
It is important to note that an executor can be held personally financially liable for any loss that a breach of their duty incurs, regardless of whether it was inadvertent or intentional.
You should always think very carefully before agreeing to act as executor for an estate and make sure you fully understand the responsibility you are taking on. If you are considering accepting the appointment of executor to a loved one’s estate, do not delay and get in contact with a skilled and qualified executry lawyer at Wilson & Fish today.
The role of executor can be complex and time-consuming, and expert legal advice is always recommended. To find out more about our executry services, contact our specialist lawyers today.
We can give you straightforward, expert advice on Executries & Probate.
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