I am the administrator of my Uncle’s estate. How can I protect myself

This is precisely the situation where we would advise a solicitor

As an administrator you are personally liable if the estate is not distributed correctly. Where there is no will you cannot always know who the beneficiaries will be, particularly if the family is large and extended.  Without undertaking certain procedures you are also liable for all debts of the estate whether or not you knew about them.

To protect against unknown debts of the estate, a formal procedure of statutory notices in certain newspaper publications is necessary and you must wait for the expiry period before distribution. This will cover debts that you do not know anything about.

The other worry is a will turning up after the estate has been divided up. Similarly, there might be some beneficiaries in a class that you do not know about. Regardless of any fault, you are personally liable for these if the estate has been distributed. A solicitor will recommend professional geneaology searches and proper indemnity insurance to give you peace of mind that you cannot be attacked in the future.

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