Wills And Probate Myth Busters – Myth #4

Urban myths and misconceptions about Wills, probate and inheritance have been around for generations. But have you stopped to think about whether there is any truth to any of them?

Myth #4: It’s better not to make a Will because I don’t want my executors to have to pay for the funeral, or any of my other debts.

The Facts:

This is simply not correct. Far from protecting your loved ones, you’re probably making life more difficult for them.

Put simply, the role of an executor is to collect in the assets of the estate and distribute them to the beneficiaries named in the Will.

Whilst it’s true that your debts do not die with you, your executors do not acquire personal liability for any debt you may have owed at the time you pass away, or your funeral costs simply by taking on the role of executor. Anything you owe at the time you pass away will be paid by your executors out of your estate, almost as if you were still alive to pay the debt yourself.

Your executors will probably incur expenses in carrying out their duties, for example estate agents’ fees for selling the house. However provided these costs were only incurred for the purposes of their role as executor, those costs can be claimed back from your estate.

Funerals are expensive. Most banks now recognise that it is unreasonable for the executor to pay the bill. Most banks will arrange for the funeral costs to be paid directly to the funeral director out of your account at the executor’s request.

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