Estate Administration Checklist
As an executor or administrator, administrating a loved ones estate can sometimes be complicated.
At Seatons, we aim to make this process as smooth and as stress free as possible to ensure the administration gets carried out quickly and effectively.
This simple checklist below will hopefully provide you with some of the issues you need to consider as an executor or administrator during the administration of your loved one’s estate.
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Estate Administration Checklist
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 national will register search. Checking to see if the deceased has left a Will helps determine which type of Grant of Representation to apply for. A Will 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
All assets, liabilities and everything that the deceased owned needs to be identified and valued by the executor. Certain assets that are jointly owned can pass automatically to other surviving owners on death; such as a house that is jointly owned by a husband and wife, provided they are beneficial joint tenants.
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 could then potentially be charged Inheritance Tax at a flat rate of 40%.
Inheritance tax is potentially charged in 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 by the deceased 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 Grant of Probate if there is a Will or a Grant of Letters of Administration if there is no Will.
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
The funeral account and all other outstanding debts owed by the deceased 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 no Will.
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We act for clients in Corby, Kettering, across Northamptonshire as well as all over the country in England and Wales. Distance is not a problem!
Call our Corby office on 01536 276300 or our Kettering office on 01536 311690 today or contact us online.