What is the Difference between an Executor and an Administrator?

If you want to make sure your loved ones are protected after you pass away, you need to make a will. With this in mind, Prestige Tax and Trust Services asks; what is the difference between an executor and an administrator of a will?

Managing your estate  

A ‘will’ is a legal document which you can use to explain how you wish your estate (money, property, possessions) etc. to be divided up among beneficiaries when you pass away. The person you appoint in your will to manage your ‘estate’ is called an ‘executor.’

Under UK law, the duties of an executor encompass the tasks associated with managing your estate. This includes working out how much inheritance tax your estate owes to the government and paying said tax, as well as paying any debts you owe from your estate and dividing it up among your beneficiaries. An executor must apply for a grant of probate to receive the right to deal with somebody’s will after they’ve passed away.

Dying without a will

What happens, however, if you die without a will? This means that you won’t have appointed an executor to handle your estate, so who will this task fall to? The person whose responsibility it is to handle your estate if you passed away without leaving a will is called an ‘administrator.’

If you die without writing a will, the courts will distribute your estate according to the rules of intestacy. These rules set out who’s entitled to inherit what you leave behind in your estate, and who can legally handle your affairs as an ‘administrator.’ Under the rules of intestacy, a close relative of the deceased can apply to be the administrator of their estate. The person in question must apply to the Probate Registry for a ‘grant of letters of administration’ before proceeding as normal.

Prestige Tax and Trust Services 

The duties of an ‘executor’ and an ‘administrator’ are similar; both identify, gather and obtain the value of the assets that comprise your estate. Both also file any necessary tax returns to the government, pay any debts you owe from your estate and distribute your assets to beneficiaries.

The key difference is that you can appoint an executor in your will, and choose who will be responsible for handling your estate. You can’t choose who will serve as the administrator of your estate, so if you want to ensure your loved ones are protected after you pass away, it’s vital you write a will before you die. Let Prestige Tax and Trust Services help; our dedicated team has the legal training and expertise necessary to ensure you write an effective will.

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