Executor's conundrum - how to keep cash out of personal estate before distribution to beneficaries?
in Deaths, funerals & probate
17 replies 846 views
I and my partner are the executors of my mum's will. The beneficiaries are my two sisters and myself. We have just had probate granted after her recent death. I have opened a bank account in mine and my partner's joint names so we can now collect in the liquid assets and distribute the cash. I am concerned that, in the unlikely event that both myself and my partner were to die before all of the liquid assets were to be distributed, the money in the account would fall into our estates and would be difficult for my sisters to access, especially as they are not beneficiaries of my will.
My intention is to divide the cash into four, give each of us beneficaries a quarter straight away and leave the remaining quarter in the bank account to pay for future costs, such as gravestone and upkeep of mum's house (which we are giving ourselves six month breather on before deciding wether to sell or not as it's just too emotional decision right now).
I was put off opening an executor bank account based on the experiences of people on this forum! However, I was canny enough to open a straight current account with Barclays, so we can change it to an executor account if need be.
Is there any way can we "ringfence" the account so it doesn't fall into our estates if we die before all the cash has been distributed? I had thought about making a codicil for our wills stating that any cash in this particular account should be distributed to my sisters upon both of our deaths. Would his work or am I overthinking this problem?
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It is held as bare trust.
Keep good records, need them for the inventory and account
Last time I had to open an Executor's account (when it was a slightly less difficult thing to do than it appears to be now), it turned out that the account I had opened was a 'normal' current account, and the only executor bit about it was in the name.
So you might be able to change the name to include the words Executor account?
As getmore4less says, you're overthinking it. Yes, if it's in a personal account my understanding is that it would technically fall into your estate, but your estate would also owe an equal amount to the estate that you are executor of - so the value of your estate wouldn't go up and the value of the original estate doesn't go down. You just need to leave some sort of documentation so that it's clear in the event of your death that the funds in that particular account are those for which you are acting as executor, and make sure ther are good records so that someone else could pick up the administration of both estates.
Yes, all documented. My executor is my sister's husband so an easy transfer if required.
Unlikely. Executors are not always beneficiaries, so no more complicated than if a friend of my mum's was her executor, rather than me. Being a joint account means that if I die, but my partner survives, he can still operate the account on behalf of the other beneficiaries, as he is also an executor.