Estate administration is the management of a person’s assets when they pass away. This involves collecting in and distributing the deceased assets.
Who deals with the deceased estate?
When someone passes away it is the job of Executors (appointed under a Will) or Administrators (entitled by law where there is no Will) to deal with administrating their estate. These roles come with a lot of responsibility and carry a risk of personal liability at an often-emotional time.
Due to the stress that this can cause, a lot of Executors and Administrators choose to take legal advice to help them. The instructions given to a solicitor or firm range from providing initial advice regarding the estate administration process and the duties of their role, to instructing to deal with the entire process on their behalf.
What does Estate Administration involve?
Estate administration can vary greatly depending on the assets that the deceased held. The process can be lengthy and may require a lot of steps. Here are some examples of what the estate administration process involves:
- Locating the Original Will.
- Ascertaining what assets and liabilities make up the estate. This includes finding out the values at the date of death.
- Calculating whether Inheritance Tax is due, preparing the inheritance tax forms and paying the tax due.
- Applying for the Grant of Probate.
- Collecting the assets and settling the liabilities of the estate.
- Preparing the estate accounts.
- Distributing the estate in accordance with the Will or intestacy rules.
Key things to understand
When dealing with an estate administration, you should be aware of the following:
- Must ensure that you understand the terms of the Will or if there is no Will, the intestacy rules.
- There are time limits for a variety of claims against the estate, for filing the information with the Government and HMRC, paying certain liabilities and for distributing the estate. If you fail to comply with the time limits, you may face personal liability and/or penalties.
- Ensuring that all tax is considered and that you consider any tax planning opportunities.
The lists above are not exhaustive but do highlight some of the complexities that come with being an Executor or Administrator of a deceased estate. The requires of an estate administration vary greatly depending on the circumstances and specifics of the estate.
At Four Oaks Legal Services, we offer a range of services to help with the administration. To discuss the right option for you, contact us on 01543 440 308 or email us at adamouroakslegalservices.com