Administration Of An Estate

Administration Of An Estate

This information contains a general guide on timescales for an administration of an estate.

It must be remembered that we are often dependent on individuals or organisations responding to our requests for estate information and release of assets which may affect the overall proceedings.

Step One – Gathering information relating to the estate

This can take up to eight weeks from receiving necessary information:

  • Verify beneficiary address and ID
  • Obtaining bankruptcy searches on beneficiaries
  • Obtaining and verifying validity of last Will
  • Contacting all asset holders to obtain date of death balances with regards to investments, property and chattel valuations to be able to apply for the Grant of Probate
  • Investigating any gifts over the annual allowance given by the deceased in the last seven years of their life
  • Carrying out an asset search if requested by the Executors
  • Contacting the pension service and state benefit agency
  • Identifying creditors and debtors
  • Placing Statutory Notices in relevant newspapers
  • Contacting home insurance company and utility providers if appropriate
  • Redirection of post
  • Where deceased died without a Will, carry out the preparation of a family tree and search for the beneficiaries entitled to the estate under intestacy rules

Stage 2 – Obtaining the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration

2 – 4 weeks from end of stage 1

  • Clarify lifetime gifts and prepare the Inheritance Tax return together with transferable Nil Rate Band Tax return if appropriate
  • Liaise with Financial Adviser and accountant
  • Prepare the required Oath
  • Sending draft Tax Return and Oath to Executor prior to making an appointment for them to swear the Oath
  • Submit the Inheritance Tax Return and pay tax to the Revenue if the estate is taxable
  • Applying for and obtaining the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration
  • Liaising with the District Valuer where the estate is taxable for Inheritance Tax

Stage 3 – Collecting in Assets

1 to 5 weeks from obtaining the Grant of Probate

  • Supplying copy of Grant of Probate to asset holders for release of funds to the estate
  • Liaising with executors regarding liquidation or appropriation of assets and preparing necessary documentation for the same
  • Closing the accounts and reconciling the closing statements with amount released to estate
  • Transferring or selling shares which sometimes has to be dealt with by an outside agency
  • Transfer property to the beneficiary or market property for sale depending on the beneficiary instructions
  • Instructing an outside agency to carry out the conveyancing process on the estates behalf, which would be at an additional cost
  • Arrange for an outside agency to clear the property and sell any chattels not bequeathed in the Will
  • Finalising all utility bills and home insurance
  • Pay off all liabilities
  • Ensuring there is nothing to be repaid to the Department for Work and Pensions in relation to overpaid state benefits

Stage 4 – Discuss with Executors Interim payments to beneficiaries and obtaining indemnities where required

1 to 4 weeks

  • Preparing final tax return with accountant if appropriate
  • Notify Passport agency and or DVLA
  • Obtaining clearance certificate from HMRC if the estate was taxable
  • Accounting to the Revenue for Capital Gains Tax or Income Tax due during the estate administration
  • Payment of legacies and distribution of specific legacies
  • Preparation of estate accounts to be approved by the Executors and residuary beneficiaries
  • Final distribution of estate together with tax certificates for residuary beneficiaries

What happens if an Estate is contested

Sadly, challenges to an estate are becoming ever more common. Whilst such challenges do not always proceed, any such claim will affect the timescales on the administration of an estate. If a claim were to be raised it must be remembered that additional work would have to be carried out and often we are not able to comment on any specific queries which may arise in such a claim. Should a claim arise we will advise you.

Safe timescale for distribution of an estate

Under the Inheritance (Provisions for Family and Dependants) Act it is possible for an eligible person to make a claim up to 6 months from the date the Grant of Probate is issued on an estate. This being the case the Executors can delay the distribution of the estate until that timescale has passed. Please bear this in mind before you commit yourself to any expenditure that you intend to pay from your inheritance.

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