Client Guide: Administration of Estates
Most people will at some time or other have to face the death of a close member of the family.
If this happens to you, in addition to coping with your grief you may have to deal with the business and financial affairs of the person who has died.
How can we help?
Blake Morgan can help you with the immediate tasks following a death including:
- registering the death
- arranging the funeral
- placing notification of the death in the newspaper
- advising as to the terms of the Will
- considering the position if there is no Will (intestacy)
- providing an initial guide to the necessary action you need to take.
It may be that few formal steps are needed and you can deal with most things yourself. However, in many cases you will need to obtain a formal document known as a grant:
- grant of probate if you are an executor under the Will
- grant of letters of administration in other cases.
A grant is often necessary before the estate can be fully administered by the executors under the Will or the administrators in other cases.
They will need to collect in the assets of the estate (selling or transferring a house or shares, if necessary) pay any liabilities, including the funeral expenses, and distribute the balance to those entitled (the beneficiaries).
We can assist with the obtaining of the grant by advising on the following:
- validity of the Will or, if there is no Will, the legal position
- duties of people administering estates (executors or administrators)
- information needed in order to obtain the grant
- how to contact the organisations where assets are held such as banks, building societies, insurance companies and pension providers
- how to arrange valuations of assets such as a house or stocks and shares.
We can assist with the preparation of the necessary formal documents required by the Probate Registry and HM Revenue & Customs to obtain a grant and we will ensure that you are fully advised as to the contents and effect of these documents.
Once the grant has been obtained we can arrange for the assets to be collected, the liabilities including the funeral expenses paid, and distributions made to the beneficiaries. We will provide full accounts of all transactions undertaken on completion of the administration.
Often matters are not straightforward and we can provide further advice on any of the following matters:
- inheritance tax payable by the estate
- income tax and capital gains tax
- pensions which may be payable as a result of the death
- businesses which form part of the estate
- houses, including valuation and the sale or transfer and disposal of contents
- trusts for children or people unable to manage their own affairs
- investment of money from the estate
- disputes – your rights and remedies
- insurance of assets forming part of the estate
- compensation for injury which may have caused the death.
If you think we can help you, or a member of your family, or friend, in respect of any of the above, please contact us.