In excess of 5,000 wills are read in the UK each week (according to legacy trends from Smee and Ford). Wills, by definition need beneficiaries and executors. Being an executor of a will means that it is your responsibility to carry out the wishes of the deceased in terms of his or her estate. Whilst this could also involve probate, being an executor of even the simplest will can be fraught with financial risk.
According to Bespoke Risk Solutions, there are three distinct messages to note:
- Executors of a will should be fully aware of the financial liability implications of executing a will.
- Bespoke Risk Solutions has launched a policy that insures the executor against potential financial liability claims incurred as a result of executing a will. This is called Executor Liability Insurance.
- Financial liability claims could come from the deceased’s banks, lenders, credit card companies, utility providers, local authorities, HMRC, healthcare providers and other disgruntled individuals. Claims can be brought many years after the death.
Peter Collins is the Chief Executive Officer of Bespoke Risk Solutions. An industry expert on legacy funding Peter explained: “We know that 64% of people who have retired in Britain expect to leave an average inheritance of £182,144.00*. With 5,000 wills being read each week that means approximately £910,720,000.00 could be distributed in legacy each week. The implication is the huge financial risk in terms of third parties staking claims to their share of the deceased’s estate. If the courts uphold third party claims then executors can be financially liable to settle the third party claims out of their own pocket.
In real-life terms there are a few notable cases. One such case shows how an executor was personally liable for £20,000 overpaid pension credit, which was connected with deceased’s estate. In this case, the female executor was also the sole beneficiary, so she requested solicitors to release estate monies on account to her. The pension credit was left unresolved. All other debts had been settled. Although this lady was aware that the pension credit issue was outstanding, she nonetheless collected the estate monies. Nine months later the Department of Work and Pensions wrote to her with a demand for £20,000 in overpaid pension credit. As the executor she was held personally liable for the debt (source Pensions Advisory Service).
With the cost of Executor Liability Insurance premium often being taken directly from the proceeds of the estate, a policy from Bespoke Risk Solutions ensures peace of mind (and up to £10,000,000 cover for 7.5 years). Policy cover also includes a bereavement advice line.
For those people that have not yet made a will, every March and October is Free Wills Month for those age 55+.
If you would like more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01702 200222.
Bespoke Risk Solutions Limited are an Appointed Representative of Leisureworld (GB) Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Register No. 749920) You can check these details by visiting www.fca.org.uk
Bespoke Risk Solutions Ltd are registered in England and Wales No. 07292153. Registered office: Victoria House, 50 Alexandra Street, Southend-On-Sea, England, SS1 1BN. Leisureworld (GB) Ltd are registered in England & Wales No. 02663024. Registered office: 1422/24 London Road, Leigh On Sea, Essex, SS9 2UL.