If you are the person responsible for estate administration after a loved one has died, we know it can be an emotionally fraught and overwhelming time. Here we guide you through the probate process and share the key things you need to know before you begin.
A common misconception is that the roles of executors and attorneys are one and the same. For example, an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney may have been able to deal with a person’s finances and assets for many years but on that person’s death it is often wrongly assumed that they can continue with that power or are automatically an executor. In reality, on the person’s death the attorney’s role ceases and the executor who is appointed by the Will then takes the authority to deal with the estate. It may be that the attorney and the executor are the same person.
When making your Will it may be easy to forget about your digital assets, things like emails, social media accounts, websites, photographs, music and cryptocurrency also form part of your estate. Do you want the information destroyed, protected, gifted to someone and how will your executor know about them?
As we are beginning to see an easing of restrictions it may be a good opportunity to consider making a Will. Although, we have been offering appointments via telephone and video link throughout lockdown it is understandable that many people have put off making a Will during these difficult times.