Is an Executor needed?

My wife and I have made mirror wills, are owners of our cottage as "tenants in common" and have joint bank account, either has full title to the account.
When one dies, all has been left to the survivor with no division of the estate until the death of the last partner.

My question is; is there any need for an executor to act for the survivor of the first death or only when the estate has to be divided according to the wishes of the deceased.
19:33 Mon 13th Feb 2012
 
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ubasses
Best Answer
An executor is needed if there are any assets in your sole name over about £5k when you die. Isay about £5k as some institutions will pay away on an indemnity for greater amounts and some may insist for less. If you get absolutely everything in joint names it will automatically pass to the spouse. Make sure you take account of all personal bits and bobs like...
19:40 Mon 13th Feb 2012 Go To Best Answer

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Still going to need an executor - because the estate of the deceased has to be formally valued for the purposes of IHT (though this is not an issue when the 1st to die occurs - only when the second partner dies and the combination of what both estates left are used to calculate the liability to IHT).
The surviving partner is normally named as executor.
An executor is needed if there are any assets in your sole name over about £5k when you die. Isay about £5k as some institutions will pay away on an indemnity for greater amounts and some may insist for less. If you get absolutely everything in joint names it will automatically pass to the spouse. Make sure you take account of all personal bits and bobs like jewellery etc.
Should have added you will need an executor appointed on second death.
Not too many houses are worth less than £10k ubasses. This man (and his partner) are going to need executors (correct though your comment is as a general observation).
If you had been joint tenants then, upon the death of one of you, the whole of the cottage would automatically have been transferred to the surviving partner. No part of the cottage would form part of the deceased partner's estate. So probate might not have been required.

But, as tenants in common, (normally) half of the value of the cottage will form part of the deceased partner's estate, taking it well above the £5000 threshold where a grant of probate is required:
http://www.direct.gov...eparation/DG_10029799

Chris
Need to type faaaaaaaaster, Chris.
Not if the house is in joint names and is a joint tennancy. If held as tennants in common each half has to be treated separately.
Probably don't know what I'm talking about... but my mum and dad has this sort of will and when mum died there wasn't an executor per-se, but the solicitors evaluated her 'estate' and produced illegible documents to confuse dad further..!! And then 'life goes on'...
......... except that one is several hundred pounds poorer. Should have DIY.
Question Author
Thank you all for your valuable advice and as tenants in common, I can see the need for probate so that the half of the property owned by the first deceased is passed according to the wishes of the deceased,to the survivor.
Would have been simpler had we owned as joint tenants but were advised that there were good reasons for not doing so, don't know why, something to do with one having to go into care so that the house could not be taken to pay the costs.
Thanks again.
Hippyhoppy - even with mirror Wills if one party has personal assets over £5k (ie not in joint names) an executor would still be needed.
Very good.
Intriguing that your voted 'Best Answer' was irrelevant to your situation though, as you don't have joint tenancy. Ah well.

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