Estate Administration Checklist

As an executor or administrator, administrating an estate can be a complicated affair.

At Seatons, we aim to make this process as smooth as possible to ensure the administration gets carried out lawfully and effectively.

Please call us for a free no obligation chat on 0800 3 10 11 12

Welcome to our page relating to an Estate Administration Checklist.  We are a firm who specialise in dealing with probate and estate administration work.  At Seatons, we offer a helpful and friendly service with low fees that provide exceptional value for money.  Please call us today for a free no obligation chat on 01536 276300 or contact us online.

Estate Administration Checklist

As an executor or administrator, administrating an estate can be a complicated affair. At Seatons, we aim to make this process as smooth as possible to ensure the administration gets carried out lawfully and effectively. This brief checklist will provide you with some of the basic rights and responsibilities you need to consider as an executor or administrator during the administration of a loved one’s estate.

1. Check if there is a Will

Obviously it is essential to check to see if the deceased left a Will. Sometimes a Will can be found among the deceased’s personal papers or it might be deposited with a firm of solicitors or with a bank. It might also be necessary to make further inquiries including carrying out a Certainty will search. Checking to see if the deceased has left a Will helps determine which type of Grant of Representation to apply for. A Will of course should also state who the executors are and how the deceased’s estate is to be distributed.

2. Value the Deceased’s Assets and Liabilities

Everything that the deceased owned needs to be identified and valued by the executor. Certain assets that are jointly owned can pass automatically to others on death; such as a house that is jointly owned by a husband and wife, provided they are beneficial joint tenants. Any debts and liabilities also need to be identified and calculated.

3. Pay Any Inheritance Tax

  • The first £325,000 of a persons estate is exempt from tax (Nil Rate Band).
  • There is also a further £175,000 relating to a deceased’s home that might also be exempt from tax (Residence Nil Rate Band)
  • Anything above the above two amounts is then charged Inheritance Tax at a flat rate of 40%.

Inheritance tax affects every part of the inherited estate, including a deceased’s house, cash in bank accounts, investments, stocks, shares and personal belongings. Foreign assets are also included, along with any assets given away in the seven years prior to death and assets given away but which the deceased still had retained an interest in.

4. Apply for the Grant of Representation 

Once the executor has a clear idea of the value of the deceased’s assets and liabilities and once any inheritance tax has been paid then an application can be made to the court to obtain a Grant of Representation. This is a Probate if there is a will or a Letters of Administration if there is no will.

Apply for the Grant of Representation, if the value of the estate exceeds £5,000, then it may be necessary to obtain a Grant of Representation from the Court, (Grant of Probate if there is a will or a Grant of Letters of Administration if there is no will) in order for banks, Building Societies and other similar organisations to release the deceased’s assets. There are three types of Grant available:

  • Grant of Probate – When a Will has been created and an executor appointed.
  • Grant of Letters of Administration – When the deceased died without a Will.
  • Grant of Letters of Administration with Will – When the deceased made a Will but either failed to appoint an executor, or all the executors named in the Will have died or are unable to act.

5. Collect in the Assets

Once a Grant of Representation has been obtained then the deceased’s assets can be collected in. The grant will need to be produced to the bank building society or other organisation before they will release the assets to the executor or administrator.

6. Pay Any Outstanding Debts

Once every relevant organisation has been contacted with regard to the deceased’s estate, any other outstanding debts owed by them must then be paid. These can include any outstanding bills, or any tax owed for example.

It important to remember that the executor/administrator has a legal duty to pay off any existing debt before distributing the remaining estate.

7. Distribute the Estate

Once the executor has collected in all of the assets and paid any outstanding debts, they can proceed with distributing the balance to the beneficiaries in accordance with the deceased’s will, if there is one, or in accordance with the law of intestacy if there is not.

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Adrian Chambers - Seatons Solicitors

Probate & Estate Specialists

I’m Adrian Chambers and specialise in Probate and Estate matters. We aim to provide our clients with an outstanding legal service.

We will help and support you and most importantly we work hard for you.

If you need help administering a loved one’s estate, please click here for further information.

For information about our costs on probate work please click here.

Please contact us for a free, no obligation chat on 01536 276300 or contact us online.

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