Being an executor: Call to change tax rules
If you are acting as an executor for your friends and family then you may face having Inheritance Tax bills yourself which you’ll have to pay with your own money if settling the estate takes more than a few months.
Being an executor
You may have taken on being an executor without knowing about the financial burden you may have brought upon yourself if selling the home owned by the deceased takes too long. It is said by the law that you as the executor would liquidate the estate and settle any debts or bills and then distribute what is left to the beneficiaries within the will itself. Any inheritance tax must be paid within 6 months after the death to HMRC.
Most estates include a mixture of property, cash, shares and other possessions, which could potentially take months or years to sell. If these assets haven’t been sold by the time the IHT bills are due, then IHT will have to be paid on those assets, which could potentially mean that the executor will have to pay that bill with their own money. Families can also plan to pay the bill by either saving money or borrowing money from the bank. Firms are calling to the government to change these tax rules so that the executor is not stuck with the potentially massive IHT bill which they are unable to pay in the short term.
It is said by a financial specialist that many executors have no idea that they may be faced with a massive IHT bill and although the money can be reclaimed after the assets have actually been sold it is an issue that many people may not be able to handle and causes unnecessary financial stress. HMRC need to re-think these tax rules to give executors more time to settle the estate before they start demanding tax as they are only acting in good faith of friends and/or family. Do not hesitate to contact us for any help planning your future finances and minimising IHT before this issue may arise. We will be happy to answer any queries or questions you may have.