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Using DIY executors can lead to host of issues at a sad time; Neil Raiseborough, head of private client department at Warwickshire law firm Alsters Kelley warns about the potential pitfalls of DIY executors.

Byline: Neil Raiseborough

When a loved one passes away, it is a sad and emotional time for those left behind. Many decisions and arrangements need to be made, including appointing an executor to administer the estate in accordance to the deceased's will.

It is the responsibility of an executor to gather in all of the assets, pay the debts of the estate, including any inheritance tax due and distribute the estate accurately. Professional executors do however come at a price, and with the financial strains of the recession, some people have been tempted into doing it themselves.

If anything goes wrong, an executor is personally liable for any losses. Professional executors do carry insurance should anything go wrong. DIY amateur executors can be risky, particularly if that person proves dishonest or incompetent. Recent cases have shown that the executor has dipped into the estates they are meant to be administrating for their own financial benefit, leaving the rightful beneficiaries without their inheritance.

Unfortunately, executors are frequently dragged into disputes surrounding the estate, irrespective of whether they have done anything wrong. For example, when dealing with high-value items such as property, some people will demand as high a selling price as possible, to ensure they receive what they see as their 'fair share' of an estate. In these situations, a professional executor may be helpful as they can bring a degree of independence and are less likely to be caught up in the emotions of the situation.

Executors actions in dealing with an estate are frequently tested by the likes of HM Revenue & Customs, charity beneficiaries, difficult or disgruntled beneficiaries or co-executors.

When a family member or family friend does a bad job of administering a will, it can be very distressing for the bereaved beneficiaries. The last thing they want to do it is go to court to recover what is rightfully theirs, but sometimes that is the only option.

The private client department at Alsters Kelley can provide a dedicated and sensitive service assisting you through the process of administering the estate.

Neil Raiseborough has more than 10 years' experience specialising in Tax and Estate planning, administering estates and drafting of wills and Powers of Attorney and works out of all three Alsters Kelley offices in Coventry, Leamington Spa and Nuneaton

Unfortunately, executors are frequently dragged into disputes surrounding the '' estate, irrespective of whether they have done anything wrong


Neil Raiseborough from Alsters Kelly deals with problems with wills
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 25, 2012
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