If you are looking for advice regarding estate administration, read on for our comprehensive overview of the process and the tasks that could be involved.
Estate administration refers to the process of dealing with all of a deceased individual’s assets, debts, and taxes before distributing inheritance to the beneficiaries. This must be done in accordance with the wishes in the Will (if applicable). However, even estates where the deceased passed away without a Will need to be administered.
The estate consists of all assets (possessions, property, money, savings, investments, pensions, and anything else owned) minus debts and taxes. Once this has been finalised, estate accounts can be produced, and the final value can be distributed to the beneficiaries; this is the final step of the estate administration process.
There is a wide range of tasks to be completed during the estate administration process and every estate is different, which makes it hard to predict what will be involved. When instructing Kings Court Trust, we will take care of every step on your behalf. This could include:
We'll contact banks, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), creditors, and other financial institutions. We'll let them know we're acting on your behalf and ask for date-of-death valuations.
Our tax team will prepare the relevant tax forms. We'll also apply for the Grant of Probate (or Confirmation in Scotland). We can do this in our name and take on the legal and financial liability.
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 that require a copy of the Grant. We'll close these accounts and collect in the funds.
If the Will contains a Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trust, we'll write to the Trustees. Our legal team will then work on Trusts within the Will, property transfers, and other legal tasks like statutory declarations or dealing with Cessate Grants.
We'll sell any shares and assets within the UK and advise on overseas assets. If there are assets to be transferred to beneficiaries, we'll organise it. If we have sufficient funds, we'll pay off the debts and make interim distributions to other beneficiaries.
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 and pay any outstanding debts.
We'll produce full and final estate accounts and send them to you and all the beneficiaries. If you have any questions, we will answer them.
If there is a Will, there should be a named Executor. They will be responsible for administering the estate or instructing a professional provider to undertake the work on their behalf. Additionally, they will be named on the Grant of Probate, which gives them the authority to deal with the estate.
If there is no Will, the estate is known as intestate. An Administrator will be appointed to deal with the estate administration – this is usually the deceased’s next of kin.
The Executor role is not one to be taken lightly; the person(s) responsible are financially and legally liable for administering the deceased’s estate or instructing a legal professional to do so on their behalf. During the drafting of a Will, up to four individuals can be named as Executors. Therefore, the estate administration work can be shared amongst the nominated individuals. It’s worth noting that an individual is under no legal obligation to fulfil the role of an Executor when the time arises. It is an unpaid role, but Executors can be reimbursed for reasonable expenses from the estate.
If you are named as an Executor, you should consider your options; do you have the time and ability to complete the complex paperwork and processes involved in estate administration, or would it be best to instruct a professional?
If you’d like free, impartial advice on the next steps, please contact us.
The Personal Representative is responsible for every aspect of administering the estate. This can include applying for probate (if required), identifying and settling all debts, paying any Inheritance Tax due (if applicable), finalising other taxes, ensuring the correct distribution of all assets, and much more.
However, they can choose to instruct a professional provider if they do not wish to undertake the estate administration process.
Kings Court Trust is an award-winning estate administration provider. We offer solutions to support every family and can complete all of the tasks involved in the process after being appointed by the named Executor or Administrator, relinquishing them of the legal and financial responsibility associated with the role.
Beneficiaries will be paid their inheritance out of the estate. The Personal Representative is responsible for managing this. However, this is the last task that should be undertaken after estate accounts have been produced so that the beneficiaries are receiving their full entitlement and can understand how the estate has been distributed.
Some assets may not be included in the final estate value because they have been paid out previously. For example, life insurance or assurance policies that are written in Trust are paid directly to the beneficiaries and do not normally go into the estate at any point. However, if the policy does not name the beneficiaries, probate could still be required.
This is similar for any asset that is placed into a Trust during lifetime – it will likely never go into the estate. In this instance, the Trustees of the policy can choose who to pay out the money to, and they do not need to pay it into the estate first. Again, this depends on the type of policy and who is named.
Some tasks should be completed before administration can begin – this could involve probate and Inheritance Tax (if applicable), but also includes:
Some Solicitors and probate specialists charge an hourly rate, whereas others calculate a fee that’s a percentage of the estate value. This is usually between 1% and 5% of the value of the estate (plus VAT).
Certain probate specialists will provide a fixed fee to administer an estate. This will be based on the work involved and the complexity of the case. Kings Court Trust works in this way, providing a fixed, upfront quote so that you have full transparency and can make an informed decision.
Includes collecting in and distributing up to three assets, or transferring them to up to two beneficiaries. An asset does not include property.
£1,495 (excluding VAT & probate fee)Learn more
1. Grant and transfer of property
2. Grant and Trust of property
3. Grant and Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trust
Each option has a fee of £1,995 (excluding VAT & probate fee)Learn more
We will complete the full process of estate administration taking on the legal and financial responsibility to do this. From dealing with all 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.
From £2,340 (excluding VAT
& third-party costs)