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liabilities of being an executor of a will

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:36 pm
by hairbrush
I've agreed to act as an executor of a will for an elderly friend. I didn't hesitate to agree at the time but now I'm having second thoughts. My friend doesn't have any assets and is heavily in debt. If he were to die before paying off his debts, would the debts be written off as he has no estate to pay off the money owed? Would I have any liability for his debts or any other costs as an executor?

Re: liabilities of being an executor of a will

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:20 pm
by atticus
Q1. yes

Q2. No.

You may renounce executorship following your friend's death, and not take out a grant of Probate as executor. However, if you are thinking you may do that, you must not get involved at all with dealing with his estate (this is called "intermeddling").

Re: liabilities of being an executor of a will

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:00 pm
by hairbrush
It is relief to know that I will not take on any debts. Having said that, I may go back to him before the worst happens and decline the offer to act on his behalf because I have read that there is a lot of unpaid and skilled work involved in executing a person's will.

Re: liabilities of being an executor of a will

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:24 pm
by atticus
there can be, indeed.

Re: liabilities of being an executor of a will

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:19 pm
by Hairyloon
You could just talk to him about what he wants done. It can be onerous work, but it ought not to be, especially if the problems have been discussed before the testator passes.
{Not sure if that English is correct, I'll trust you understand what I meant}.

Re: liabilities of being an executor of a will

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:09 am
by hairbrush
I will have a chat with him first. His only possessions are furniture and ornaments which aren't worth much in the big scheme of things. Would these need to be valued by a professional before being sold off to help pay off his debts? I would say that that any money raised at auction would probably barely pay off the cost of employing a surveyor. I think he would be better off agreeing in his will to give his belongings to charity.

Re: liabilities of being an executor of a will

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:40 pm
by Hairyloon
hairbrush wrote:I would say that that any money raised at auction would probably barely pay off the cost of employing a surveyor.

I imagine you may well be right, but if the worst happened, you may have to persuade a court of that fact. I expect it depends somewhat on the creditors and how hard they want to pursue the debt.
One option might be to ask them.
I think he would be better off agreeing in his will to give his belongings to charity.

I don't know that that would make any difference.

Re: liabilities of being an executor of a will

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:13 pm
by atticus
It wouldn't. Creditors would have first claim on assets.

Re: liabilities of being an executor of a will

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:45 pm
by dls
Creditors are paid first. If there is anything left it can be paid to a charity.