What is estate administration?

Simply put, estate administration is the process of dealing with a person’s legal and tax affairs after they’ve died.

This means dealing with all their assets (such as property, shares and personal possessions), paying debts, paying any Inheritance Tax and Income Tax and transferring inheritance to the beneficiaries of the estate. Estate administration can be extremely complex and is required after every death, whether or not there is a Will.

What could be involved in estate administration?

Every estate is different, but there are various stages of the estate administration process which are required in most cases. If you have any questions during the process, you can ask your personal estate manager. They will keep you up-to-date with progress.

Gathering information.

We'll contact banks, HMRC, the Department for Work and Pensions, creditors and other financial institutions. We'll let them know we're acting on your behalf and ask for date-of-death valuations.

Preparing tax forms and applying for the Grant.

Our tax team will prepare the relevant tax forms. We'll also apply for the Grant of Probate (Confirmation in Scotland). We do this in our name, on your behalf. That means there's no need for you to visit a probate registry and we take on any liability.

Closing accounts.

Once we've received the Grant of Probate we'll send it to banks, mortgage companies and anywhere else the deceased had an account, policy or debt. We'll close accounts and collect funds.

Setting up Trusts in a Will.

If the Will contains a Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trust, we'll write to the trustees with information. Our legal team will then work on Trusts within the Will, property transfers and other legal tasks like statutory declarations.

Selling and transferring assets.

We'll sell any shares and other assets within the UK and overseas. If there are any assets to be transferred to beneficiaries, we'll arrange for that to happen.

Paying debts.

If we have sufficient funds, we'll pay off the deceased's debts and make interim distributions to other beneficiaries. We'll also pay any "specific legacies" - specific sums of money or assets mentioned in the Will.

Selling property.

After valuing the property, we’ll sell the property or transfer it to beneficiaries. Your personal estate manager handles this process, including liaising with estate agents and the buyers' solicitors.

Finalising legal work.

Our legal tax team will finalise any further legal work. That can include setting up Trusts created by the Will, producing statutory declarations and dealing with Cessate Grants. Your personal estate manager will keep you up-to-date.

Finalising tax work.

Our tax team will complete the Income Tax return and submit it to HMRC. We'll confirm the final Inheritance Tax position and obtain 'clearance' from HMRC. We'll reclaim any overpaid Inheritance Tax. We'll also pay any remaining debts.

Producing estate accounts.

We'll produce full and final estate accounts and send them to you and all the beneficiaries. If you have any questions, we'll answer them.

What do to when someone dies.

Every action, decision and service we offer at Kings Court Trust goes some way to achieving our purpose - helping families to move on. That’s why we are so pleased and proud to receive feedback from our families.

“Exceptionally supportive, professional and compassionate. Guided me through the process during a very difficult and emotional time. All questions and enquiries were answered immediately or a clear timeline was given if queries had to be taken away. Always dealt with my questions with great compassion. I would have no hesitation in recommending Kings Court Trust.”

“During a stressful time, we used Kings Court Trust on the recommendation of a friend. I personally found them to be extremely helpful, professional and knowledgeable. They took away the stress of understanding the very difficult process which is the last thing anyone wants to deal with after the death of a family member.”