Welcome to our page on administrative duties, we hope this helps you to know what you need to do as an executor (if there is a Will) or an administrator (if there is no Will) of a loved one’s estate.
While doing this there are several administrative and tax related issues which you will need to take care of as a representative of an estate. It is essential that everything is done correctly as otherwise you as the executor or administrator could be found liable.
At Seatons we will ensure that you understand everything that needs to be done and we will help you through every step.
You will need to ensure you obtain a copy of the death certificate as this may be required at several stages of the process. If the death is yet to be registered, you will need to have to do this with a registrar which will require a range of documents including a medical certificate of cause of death.
What do you need to apply for to get authority to deal with the estate?
You will need to apply for a grant of representation, which is a Grant of Probate (if there is a Will) or letters of administration (if there is no Will), as this is required for estate administration and in particular to obtain the release of the estate assets such as savings accounts and selling property. A grant of representation is the legal document which will give you the authority to deal with the estate. You can apply for this or we can do it for you. This requires forms to be completed and sent to the probate registry. We can apply for a grant of representation for you quickly and easily and at a low cost. For a simple grant our costs are usually from £500 + vat + court fee totalling usually around £750. Please call us for a free no obligation chat.
Who do I need to notify about my loved one’s death?
You may need to ensure that all central and local government services such as the HMRC, DVLA and DWP are aware of the death. For this you can use the “tell us once” service, this will allow you to inform central and local government services of the death so that you don’t need to telephone or write to each service. This is a free service which can be done online or by one single telephone call and will save you a lot of time and effort in an already distressing time. You will be given a reference number to use at the registering of the death in order to complete this.
For funds to be released you will need to send copies of the death certificate and often the Grant of Probate to banks, building societies and any other financial organisations. You can use the “death notification service” which will allow you to notify several different banks at the same time.
What you need to do in relation to assets and debts
You will need to check all their financial affairs to make sure that all liabilities and debts are paid, identify the assets and investigate to whether there any missing or unidentified assets. So that you know the value of the estate.
As an executor or administrator, you are responsible for protecting and managing the assets until they are distributed to the beneficiaries. For example, you must maintain any property the deceased owns and ensure payments such as the mortgage and household insurance policy premiums and utility bills are paid.
You may want to open a executors account to aid you in gathering all payments to the deceased estate or make any payments before the estate is distributed to the beneficiaries. This will help you to keep records of any payments made.
As an executor or administrator, you have a responsibility to pay off all debts which the deceased has before you can distribute the estate. You will need to find what type of debt each is, in order to ensure they are paid off in the correct way. For example, you will need to understand whether the debt was liable to only the deceased or whether it was joint with another or whether they were insured as there is a specific order in how they should be paid. You may want to place a statutory notice for creditors in the gazette and local newspaper as sometimes it may be difficult to identify all creditors, and this will mean that you are protected against any claims the estate.
If you require any further help, we have specialist solicitors who can help you understand the process, please call us for a free no obligation chat if you require any advice on estate administration.
If there is a Will you may need to check the validity of it
Before distributing an estate, you may need to check that if there is a Will that it is valid, for this it must meet certain requirements. The deceased must have been at least 18 years old at the date the Will was made, it must be in writing with a signature by the person and it must be witnessed by two others, the individual must have capacity and not been acting under undue influence.
If you are unsure, you may want to contact a specialist probate solicitor in order to make sure all these requirements are fulfilled, and that the deceased didn’t die intestate as this would mean the estate would need to be administered under a different set of rules.
Will I need to pay tax on the estate?
You will need to check if there are any outstanding tax bills that may need to be paid as part of the estate. This includes income tax and capital gains tax.
You will need to calculate when and what inheritance tax the estate may be liable for and pay this amount. You will need to complete the form and the amount will depend on the value of the estate, for more information click here to view our page on inheritance tax.
Distributing the estate
There are several administrative duties when distributing any assets in accordance with the terms of the Will or the law, which governs the distribution of an estate on intestacy. However, you may want to wait six months as any claims against the estate may be made in this period. It is necessary to get legal advice distributing an estate to make sure you take all the necessary steps, especially in a situation when someone dies intestate.
If this all feels overwhelming, don’t worry we can help, just give us a call free on 0800 3 10 11 12 or telephone 01536 276300 and ask for Adrian or Mandy at our Corby office or call 01536 311690 and ask for James or John at our Kettering office or contact us online. We are known as the “friendly professionals” and will work hard for you at a difficult time to ensure all the administrative duties are completed.
Probate & Estate Specialists
I’m Adrian Chambers and I specialise in Probate and Estate matters. We at Seatons are known as the friendly professionals, we aim to provide clients with an outstanding legal service.
We will help and support you and most importantly we work hard for you.
If you need help in obtaining probate and/or administering a loved one’s estate, please click here for further information.
Please contact me for a free, no obligation chat on 01536 276300 or contact me online.