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Administering a Deceased Person's Estate

This factsheet sets out the steps that we will take in acting for you in the administration of an estate and the likely timescale over which the steps will be taken. If you have any queries over this, please do not hesitate to discuss these with us.

The timescales are inherently guidance only as we are often dependent upon other organisations or individuals providing information. Please note that not all of the steps below may apply to the particular estate but are examples of the typical steps usually taken. We will advise you regularly of our progress and any changes that arise in relation to the estate.

Stage

Timescale
Stage 1 – Information gathering

Sending out executor pack.

Sending out beneficiary pack and verifying beneficiary’s whereabouts and identity.

Carrying out bankruptcy searches on beneficiaries.

Verifying the whereabouts and validity of the last Will (if applicable).

Contacting all asset holders to verify nature, extent and value of assets. If appropriate, arranging for valuations of assets such as shares, property, specific items.

Carrying out an asset search.

Contacting the benefits agencies and pension agencies.

Identifying nature, extent and value of any creditors, debtors and liabilities.

Arranging for statutory notices to be placed.

Where appropriate, liaising with house insurer, utility companies and redirection of post.

In the case of intestacy, carrying out a beneficiary search and preparation of a family tree.

2 – 8 weeks from receipt of information.
Stage 2 – Applying for probate

Preparation of inheritance tax account to include, where appropriate, an application for a transferable Nil Rate Band including collating the necessary information to support such a claim. As appropriate, liaising with any accountant or financial adviser.

Preparation of Statement of Truth.

Providing executor with drafts of inheritance tax accounts and then arranging for executor to swear the same.

Advising on any inheritance payable and arranging for the same to be paid in conjunction with you.

Applying for and receiving probate.

Liaising with the District Valuer if required.

2 – 4 weeks from stage 1
Stage 3 – Collection of assets

Notifying all asset holders and liability holders of the Grant of Probate.

Liaising with executors regarding liquidation or appropriation of assets and preparing forms to carry out the same.

Calling in the proceeds of assets, including closing any accounts and reconciling closing statements.

Selling shares if required or transferring, sometimes with the assistance of an external organisation.

Selling individual items, sometimes with the assistance of an external organisation.

Arranging for any property to be placed upon the market or transferred to a beneficiary.

Carrying out the conveyancing process in relation to any property (please note an additional cost for the conveyancing would be charged).

Arranging for the property to be cleared and/or cleaned, usually by an external agency.

Finalising all utility bills and house insurance.

Paying off any liabilities.

Liaising with the Department for Work and Pensions in respect of any benefits and estate enquiries.

1 – 6 weeks from obtaining the Grant of Probate
Stage 4 – Consideration of interim payments to beneficiaries and, where appropriate obtaining an indemnity from beneficiaries

Preparation of the deceased’s final tax return, sometimes with the assistance of an accountant.

Notification to DVLA, Bereavement Registry, Passport Office and other organisations as appropriate.

Obtaining a clearance certificate from HM Revenue & Customs for inheritance tax, as appropriate.

Accounting to the Revenue for any income tax and capital gains tax for the period of estate administration, as appropriate.

Payment of any legacies and/or distribution of any specific items bequeathed to beneficiaries.

Preparation of estate accounts for approval by the executors and beneficiaries.

Final distribution of the estate together with tax certificates for the beneficiaries.



If an estate is contested

Regretfully, it is now common place that challenges are made to estates and Wills. Whilst many of such challenges do not necessarily progress, if for any reason such a challenge is received to this estate it will inevitably affect the timescales quoted above. Whilst we have no reason currently to believe any challenge may occur, you will appreciate that any additional work we have to carry out will not be covered in the above and we may not be able to advise on specific queries arising in that context. We will advise you of this should that occur.

Please note the estimated cost quotation that has been provided to you in respect of administering the estate is based upon our understanding of what the administration of this estate will involve at this stage. It does not however indicate that all of the steps listed above are necessary or are to be carried out on this estate or within the quotation provided.