Wilson & Fish is a specialist executry (probate) legal practice based in Scotland. Our lawyers can provide tailored advice on all executry matters, and offer valuable assistance to executors at all stages of winding up an estate, including obtaining confirmation, calculating inheritance tax, and ensuring the proper appointment of executors in the case of intestate estates.
If you have been named as the executor in a will, or are seeking appointment as an executor, you will doubtless have a number of questions. In terms of the payment of executors, you cannot charge a fee for acting as executor. However, the executor’s out of pocket expenses can be drawn from the deceased’s estate. It is important to keep an accurate record of all expenses incurred, including relevant receipts, and the amount of time spent completing your duties as executor. This will ensure that the beneficiaries cannot make a claim against you for misusing the funds from the deceased’s estate.
An executry solicitor can help you to ensure that your record is complete and accurate, and guide you as to whether it is possible to claim particular expenses. For example, claiming the cost of transport to and from your solicitor’s office would be a reasonable expenses, but the cost of food for the period for which you act as executor is not.
Acting as Executor: other financial considerations
If you are considering whether to act as executor, it is important to bear in mind that executors are personally responsible for any mistakes they make in winding up the estate. This means that they can be liable to the beneficiaries if they do not properly carry out their duties. At Wilson & Fish, we understand that the legal and administrative undertakings involved in acting as an executor can be immensely stressful and time-consuming. Navigating the winding up process is also a significant emotional burden for executors who are grieving for their loved one. Working with one of our solicitors will offer you peace of mind that the winding up process will be completed accurately and efficiently.
If you decide to use the services of an executry lawyer to complete your duties as executor, you can be assured that the legal expenses are drawn from the deceased’s estate. The executor is not personally liable for legal fees. Similarly, the executor is not personally responsible for court fees, such as the cost of obtaining confirmation – this can also be drawn from the estate.
Executors might be particularly concerned about expenses if the deceased had a number of unpaid debts. Any expenses incurred in administering the estate, as well as reasonable funeral costs, are ‘privileged debts’, which means that they are met as a matter of propriety before other debts (except expenses in sequestration).