Estate Administration summary
ESTATE ADMINISTRATION SUMMARY
The business of administering an estate can be broadly divided into three stages, as follows:-
1. Work up to the issue of the Grant of Probate/Representation:-
- supplying copies of the Will to interested parties (and if no Will, assessing who is entitled)
- notifying beneficiaries and creditors of the death
- obtaining full details of assets and liabilities and lifetime gifts
- completing and having signed the Executors' or Administrators Oath and HM Revenue & Customs Account
- (where appropriate) arranging a Bank loan to pay Inheritance Tax (IHT)
- lodging the HM Revenue & Customs account and Oath and collecting the Grant
2. On receipt of the Grant:-
- registering in all appropriate quarters
- realising assets to repay the Bank loan and meet cash requirements
- placing statutory advertisements for beneficiaries/creditors
- paying debts and legacies and obtaining receipts
- making distributions on account of residue
Statutory advertisements – it is usual practice for personal representatives to place notices in the London Gazette and local newspaper to advertise for creditors. The notices generally cannot be placed until receipt of the grant of probate/representation and creditors are given two months to step forward. Where professionals are acting as personal representatives no distributions will be made until expiry of this period.
Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 – certain categories of persons can claim against a deceased’s estate if they have not been provided for and they believe they should have been. Claimants have six months from the date of issue of the Grant of Representation to bring a claim, however the court may also give permission to extend it in extenuating circumstances. Under the provisions of Administration of Estates Act 1925, the executors may also defer the distribution of the estate until after twelve months from the issue of the Grant, for example to allow for all liabilities to be cleared. Therefore, final distributions might not be made until at least the expiry of six months from the date of issue of the Grant, although in some circumstances interim distributions may be considered.
3. Winding up the Estate:-
- submitting corrective accounts for IHT, agreeing the final liability and obtaining a Certificate of Discharge
- completing Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax Returns and issuing Certificates of Deduction of Tax
- preparing and circulating Accounts
- making final distributions and obtaining receipts
We aim to obtain the grant of probate within six months of being instructed. Business on receipt of the grant usually takes between three and six months. Winding up an Estate usually takes approximately three months. These time guidelines are approximate and each estate can vary depending on the assets and matters involved and information provided to us.
In addition, the firm is willing to offer specialist advice to beneficiaries, particularly in the context of estate planning, for which we shall be pleased to provide a separate costs estimate on request.