As Executor of an estate, you hold a lot of responsibility in ensuring that the estate is administered correctly. You usually also incur your own costs and it is important that you are aware that you can recover your own reasonably incurred costs from the estate.
. Whilst you are not entitled, as a non-professional executor, to charge for your time in administering the estate, you are able to claim back certain costs from the estate if they have been incurred correctly and proper receipts are provided.
These expenses usually relate to things like temporarily satisfying utility bills or the probate application fee itself. There are plenty of acceptable claims that can be made which are in place to ensure that the executor is not left financially worse off.
There is no handbook that determines what is or is not an acceptable claim to be made regarding expenses incurred. Sometimes the decision can be left to the executors at their own discretion.
It is possible that some beneficiaries may take issue with what expenses are being claimed as ultimately, this eats into their inheritance. However, to avoid any potential conflict with beneficiaries, you can always discuss the expenses incurred with them that you feel may not come under normal expenditure.
When administering an estate there are some unavoidable costs that the executor must bear which fall under the category of ‘normal expenditure’.
For the most part, these expenses are relatively non costly but when added together can amount to a sizeable sum. The below expenditure is usually classified as normal expenditure, but this is not an exhaustive list: –
1. 1st Class, 2nd Class, Recorded and Special Post
2. Valuations for particular assets in the estate
3. Temporary payment of the various utilities to the deceased’s property
4. General maintenance of the deceased’s property which can include minor work such as gardening or repairing the property to ensure structural safety for insurance purposes
5. Clearing and cleaning costs by a professional of the deceased’s property
6. Property insurance to ensure that the property is properly covered being an unoccupied property
7. Mileage expenses
Of course, a beneficiary may raise a query about any expense incurred but more often that not one of the most common queries is regarding mileage expenses.
In the event that mileage expenses are incurred you should always make notes of the travel done and the reason for the travel in the first place as with all expenses a beneficiary must be satisfied that it was carried out for the benefit of the estate or the beneficiaries.
As an executor, clear records should always be kept of what payments have been made and where possible you should always pay by bank card so that in the event of losing a receipt there are bank records to show the expenditure.
It is good practice to keep a record of all banking transactions, invoices and receipts as this is the only way to ensure that you will not be left financially burdened by simply carrying out your duties to the estate of the deceased.