Dealing with the assets of a loved one after they have passed away can be very difficult and stressful.
This is why we would like to share some tips to make the process run more smoothly.
Before we start – a bit of jargon:
- An Executor is the person who the deceased or the law picks to carry out the wishes of the deceased;
- A Beneficiary is the person who gets the benefit from the deceased.
Statement of Affairs – You are Making a List!
TIP: We recommend that during your lifetime you prepare a Statement of Affairs which is a list of all your assets and liabilities and where the paperwork and detail can be found.
This can be a very useful reference tool for your Executor and can help to speed up the initial stages of the administration of an estate.
One of the most common problems when it comes to looking after someone’s affairs after they die is tracking down their assets, such as property, bank accounts, insurance policies and shares.
This can be very time consuming if you do not know where you are supposed to be looking.
The Job of the Executor – You are the Chosen One!
TIP: In order to avoid any misunderstandings we recommend that an Executor give a copy of any Will to Beneficiaries and also keep them updated on the progress being made.
An Executor is the person named by the deceased to take responsibility for making sure that the wishes of the Deceased as set out in their Will are carried out.
It is the Executor’s duty to preserve and protect the assets of the Deceased. For example, the Executor will take control of the family home and make sure that it is adequately insured and protected.
The Executor is obliged to distribute the assets of the estate as soon as is reasonably practicable.
An Executor should be mindful that it is a serious responsibility and not one that should be taken on lightly.
HINT: It is very important for an Executor to contact a Solicitor as soon as possible after the Deceased’s death so that steps can be taken to start the administration of the estate.
Paperwork – Accuracy is the Best Policy!
HINT: All the paperwork for the probate application must be completed in the exact format required by the Probate Office and all information required must be provided.
Incomplete applications or applications which do not comply with the court rules will be rejected which will result in delay and extra cost and frustration.
The Executor will have to make a return of all assets and liabilities on behalf of the deceased to the Revenue by completing an Inland Revenue Affidavit.
They will also be required to complete an Oath confirming that they will administer the deceased’s estate in accordance with the law.
The Inland Revenue Affidavit is a form listing the assets and liabilities of the Deceased at their date of death.
Tax Implications – Death is a Taxing Matter!
TIP: Beneficiaries should make sure that they supply their PPS number and details of all previous gifts and inheritances to the Executor at the earliest opportunity. This will help to calculate any inheritance tax liability to allow returns filed promptly to avoid interest and penalties.
The Beneficiaries of an estate can be liable for Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) often referred to as inheritance tax.
The CAT payable is based on the relationship between the deceased and the beneficiary.
It is important to note that there is no CAT payable on inheritance from a Spouse.
If a beneficiary is not resident in Ireland this places an extra responsibility on an Executor to ensure that if required a tax return is filed and the tax due paid.
HINT: It is recommended that you seek the advice of a Solicitor to guide you through the process. This will give you peace of mind that the application is being handled correctly and that any legal or tax issues arising from the administration of the deceased’s estate will be dealt with.