Probate and estate administration

The time after losing someone close to you is always difficult.

There are a lot of administration requirements following a death, and it can be very confusing and painful to deal with when you are also grieving.

Many people are reassured by having someone they trust assisting them with these duties, in order to enable them to be able to focus on their family whilst knowing everything else is being taken care of.

Administration requirements following a death

The process involved in estate administration includes:

  1. Ensure all government departments are informed as soon as possible – you should receive information on the ‘Tell us once’ service when registering the death, which should simplify matters.
     
  2. Determine who is responsible for administering the estate – if there is a valid will, this should name the relevant people, known as ‘executors’. If there is no will, the relevant people will be determined by the intestacy rules. Sometimes those named may not wish to act, in which case they will need to renounce.
  1. Get together a list of the assets owned by the deceased and their values as at the date of death, including any interest in a business.
     
  2. Complete and submit the relevant Inheritance Tax forms to HM Revenue & Customs, as well as calculation and payment of any Inheritance Tax due. The time limit for payment of Inheritance Tax is six months after the end of the month of death after which point interest will be charged.
     
  3. Complete and submit the probate application in order to give you the legal right to deal with the deceased’s assets.
     
  4. Distribute the assets in accordance with the will and informing HM Revenue & Customs of any trusts created where necessary.

This process could also involve some tax planning. It is possible for the beneficiaries to vary the will by a Deed of Variation, provided this is done within 2 years. This can often result in either a reduction of Inheritance Tax due immediately, or used for planning to reduce potential Inheritance Tax liabilities in the future. It can often be done whilst still upholding the deceased’s wishes.

How can we help?

We are able to assist with all matters involved with estate administration. You will still be making a personal application, and the legal right to deal with the assets will remain with you. We will however be able to guide you through the process and assist you at each step of the way.

  • Where we already act for the deceased and their family, we already have a lot of the information required, making the process simpler, and are already known and trusted advisors.
  • We can advise on any potential tax planning where required.
  • We do not charge a percentage of the estate when acting for you – our fees are based on the time spent working on the estate only.

Should you wish to discuss further how we could help you, please contact your local private client tax consultant and we would be happy to help.

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