Guide to Estate Administration

Whether you are an Executor or Administrator you will be responsible to ensure that the Estate is correctly dealt with. Below are listed your responsibilities.

What to do first

  • Check if there is a Will or not, and ensure you know where the original is held
  • Contact the Department of Work and Pensions to stop the payment of state pensions and benefits
  • Contact HM Revenue & Customs, so that they are aware of the death
  • Contact all companies and individuals to whom debts are due
  • Find out where all the liquid assets are held and contact to inform of the death
  • Contact the insurance company with whom the house insurance is held
  • Clear the property of anything valuable, as contents insurance will cease within a short time of the date of death

Obtain valuations of the assets and liabilities of the estate

  • Obtain valuations of all the cash assets, as at the date of death
  • Obtain confirmation of the interest paid on all investments and tax deducted
  • Obtain at least two valuations of any real property owned by the deceased
  • Check for any overseas assets held, these will also have to be valued
  • If overseas assets are held, check if a Will was made in the relevant jurisdiction

Prepare Tax forms

  • Submit an Income Tax Return up to the date of death to HM Revenue & Customs
  • Prepare an Inheritance Tax Account if the Estate is taxable
  • If tax is due, obtain this from the assets of the Estate
  • Pay the Inheritance Tax due and obtain the receipt

Obtain the Grant of Representation

  • Obtain the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration to the Estate
  • Pay all outstanding liabilities
  • Put in place Statutory Advertisements

Cash in the assets of the Estate

  • Liquidate the cash assets of the Estate, transfer where required
  • On the sale of assets, there may also be other tax implications and we would recommend you look at our How tax can affect you page

Distribute the net Estate

  • Pay legacies and distribute personal items in accordance with the Will
  • Prepare Estate Accounts
  • Make final distribution of the Estate assets to the Residuary Beneficiaries

The above is not an exhaustive list, and is meant as a short guide only. In some cases an Estate will be straight forward and no tax will be payable. It should however be noted that even if no tax is due, in many cases a full Inheritance Tax Account will still have to be prepared and submitted.

We appreciate that being an Executor or Administrator can be complex and daunting. If you would like assistance with dealing with the Estate of a loved one please contact us.