An executor is a person appointed to manage the estate of a deceased person and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries as specified in the will. If a property is part of the estate, the executor must transfer it to the beneficiaries named in the will.
The process of transferring property to a beneficiary is:
1. Obtain a Grant of Probate: Before the executor can transfer the property, they must first obtain a Grant of Probate. This is the legal document that gives them the authority to administer the deceased person's estate.
2. Identify the Beneficiaries: The executor must identify the beneficiaries named in the will, and the share of the property that is to be transferred to them.
3. Prepare a Deed of Transfer: A Deed of Transfer is a legal document that transfers ownership of the property from the estate to the beneficiaries. The executor usually instructs a conveyancer to prepare this document, which must be signed by all parties involved.
4. Pay Any Taxes or other Debts: The executor must pay any outstanding taxes or debts from the estate before distributing the assets to the beneficiaries. With property this could include income tax (on rental income), inheritance tax and any outstanding mortgage.
5. Register the Transfer: After the Deed of Transfer has been signed it must be registered with the Land Registry to legally transfer the ownership of the property to the beneficiaries.
6. Distribute the Assets: Finally, the executor must distribute the assets of the estate, including the transferred property, to the beneficiaries in accordance with the will.
The executor must act in accordance with the law and the terms of the will when transferring the property to the beneficiaries. If you are appointed as an Executor of a Will it is worth taking professional advice to ensure that you are not personally liable should any beneficiary (or potential beneficiary) be unhappy with how the estate is distributed.
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The information contained in this article does not constitute financial advice or recommendation and should not be considered as such. Arrow conveyancing does not offer financial advice and is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the authors of this article are not financial advisors and are therefore not authorised to offer financial advice.