Stewardship of funds

Produced by Tolley

The following Trusts and Inheritance Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Stewardship of funds
  • Personal Representatives' legal duty
  • Open an account to receive funds
  • Deposit accounts
  • Some practical tips on bank accounts
  • Accounting records
  • Managing cash flow

Stewardship of funds

Personal Representatives' legal duty

Under the Administration of Estates Act 1925, s 25 the personal representatives are under a legal obligation to give an account of their stewardship of the funds for which they are responsible when called upon by the beneficiaries to do so. The duties of the personal representatives are stated as follows:

  1. to collect the real and personal estate of the deceased and administer it according to law

  2. when required to do so by the Court, exhibit on oath in the Court a full inventory of the estate and when so required render an account of the administration of the estate to the Court

  3. when required to do so by the High Court, deliver up the grant of probate or administration to that Court

In collecting the estate, an accurate record must be kept of all the monies received and paid. The preparation of estate accounts is a matter of good practice. A financial record of the administration will make sure that all assets have been collected in, liabilities duly discharged and that the beneficiaries have received what they are entitled to either under the terms of the will or the rules of intestacy. In addition, the accounts will assist the personal representatives with the completion of tax returns required for the administration period. See the Requirement for estate accounts and Format for estate accounts guidance notes. In order to prepare accounts and distribute the estate, the funds must be kept safe in a designated bank account and each transaction must be identifiable.

Open an account to receive funds

As bank accounts are closed and assets sold, the proceeds should preferably be collected in just one designated account. The account can either be a personal account opened in the name of the personal representatives or a professional client account. The personal executors' account must be operated by the personal representatives themselves.

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