The Executor's Role

Know Your Duties

As Executor(s) you are the person(s) primarily responsible for the administering of the estate.  Although this is by no means an exhaustive list, your responsibilities as Executor(s) include the following:

  • Making arrangements for the disposition of the body and for funeral, memorial or other similar services.

  • Determining the names and addresses of those beneficially entitled in the estate property and notifying them of their interests.

  • Arrangement with a bank or other financial institution for a list of the contents of any safety deposit box(es).

  • Determining the full nature and value of property and debts of the deceased as at the date of death and compiling a list, including the value of all land and buildings and a summary of outstanding mortgages, leases and other encumbrances.

  • Examining existing insurance policies, advising insurance companies of the death and placing additional insurance, if necessary.

  • Protecting or securing the safety of any estate property.

  • Providing for protection and safeguarding of vacant land and buildings.

  • Arranging for the proper management of the estate property, including continuing business operations, taking control of property and selling property.

  • Retaining a lawyer to advise on the administration of the estate, to apply for a grant from the probate registry or to bring any contentious issue before the court.

  • Calculating and arranging for payment of inheritance tax (IHT).

  • Applying for any pension, annuities, death benefits, life insurance or other benefits payable to the estate.

  • Advising any joint tenancy beneficiaries of the death of the deceased.

  • Advising any designated beneficiaries of their interests under life insurance or other property passing outside the Will.

  • Arranging for the payment of debts and expenses owed by the deceased and the estate.

  • Determining whether to advertise for claimants, checking all claims and making payments as funds become available.

  • Taking steps necessary to finalize the amount payable if the legitimacy or amount of a debt is in issue.

  • Determining the income tax or other tax liability of the deceased and of the estate, filing the necessary returns and paying any tax owing before distributing the estate property.

  • Instructing your lawyer in any litigation.

  • Distributing the estate property in accordance with the will or intestacy provisions.

 

*Executor includes Administrator if no will

Evictions of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy During the COVID-19 Outbreak

During these unprecedented times, the government is strongly urging landlords to avoid commencing or continuing possession proceedings without an extremely good reason, in an attempt to keep everyone at home and safe.  Indeed, the government has introduced The Coronavirus Act 2020, which protects social and private tenants by delaying when landlords can evict tenants.

 

That said, it is still possible for a landlord to evict their tenant by serving what’s called a Section 21 Notice in the prescribed form (Form 6A) in two situations: if the notice expires on or after the end of the fixed term, or during a tenancy with no fixed date (known as a periodic tenancy).  There is no need to give a reason for the eviction; however, the notice period must be a minimum of six months (usually this period is a minimum of two months but has been extended due to COVID-19).  It should be noted that in limited and exceptional circumstances the usual two-month notice period still applies (some examples include where rent is in arrears for 6+ months, anti-social behaviour, certain cases of domestic abuse, and where the tenant has passed away, among others).  There are also other formalities that must be complied with, such as confirming the tenant's deposit is protected, providing the tenant with current copies of the gas safety and energy performance certificates and providing the tenant with the government’s ‘How to Rent’ Guide.  The landlord should also keep proof the notice requirements were complied with by writing "served by [name] on [date]" on the notice or by completing Form N215.

 

If the tenant stays past the date on the notice, the landlord can apply for either a standard or an accelerated possession order (provided the landlord is not claiming rent arrears).  This application (Form N5B England) must be submitted within four months from the date on the notice.  Previously, the government implemented a stay on possession proceedings, meaning possession proceedings could not be commenced or continued by landlords wishing to evict their tenants.  This stay expired 20 September 2020, and landlords are now able to progress their possession claim through the courts.

 

Alternatively, if the original/current lease contained/contains a rent review clause, the landlord could seek to rely on it, or if the fixed term has ended, the landlord can serve one month's notice of rental increase.