Here’s what you need to know if you are the Executor or Administrator of a Will.
Handling a deceased person’s Estate can be incredibly stressful and depending on the size or complexity of their Estate the Probate process can be complicated and can take up to 12 months to settle.
An Estate includes everything an individual owned and the person responsible for dealing with the Estate after their death needs to be aware of the list of administrative affairs they will be responsible for when dealing with the Probate process.
Estates that include property and/or large sums of capital and other assets will most certainly require Probate. However small Estates, which is an Estate with certain assets and cash worth less than £5,000 do not require Probate.
Who has the authority to deal with the Estate of the deceased?
When a lawful Will has been left the named Executor is the Personal Representative who has the authority to deal with the Estate. However if no Will has been left then under the ‘Rules of Intestacy’ a family member can apply to be an Administrator of the Estate.
What’s involved in the Probate process?
There are 9 Steps to the Probate process that the Personal Representative or Administrator is responsible for;
- Identify and calculate total value of all assets and prepare estate accounts showing assets and liabilities.
- Calculate if Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax payments are due.
- Notify HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) of the death, including all utilities and service provider companies and organisations.
- Apply for a Grant of Probate to the Probate Registry.
- Close financial accounts such as bank, building society, insurance.
- Sell or transfer property and all other assets of the deceased.
- Pay off mortgages, debts and any other liabilities.
- Prepare an Estate Account to provide beneficiaries with an accurate account of the administration of the estate before it can be distributed.
- Liaise with beneficiaries and distribute remaining Estate to those beneficiaries if applicable.
How to reduce the stress of Probate?
Our list above is only an overview of the many tasks the Personal Representative or Administrator is responsible for, and each task must be done in a specific order to ensure timely and successful processing. Without the right expertise if errors are made this could delay the settling of the Estate and the Personal Representative or Administrator could be held legally responsible for those errors.
To avoid such stress we can either deal with the Probate on your behalf or provide an ‘advice only’ service to help you process the estate yourself.
This information does not constitute legal advice.