Managing the estate of a loved one, a friend or a colleague, whether you are a spouse, family member or executor of the will (if there is a will), can be challenging. There are so many aspects to consider, paperwork to complete, tax obligations to pay; and that’s on top of having to make funeral arrangements and distribute assets to beneficiaries.
If the deceased left a detailed will and estate plan that sets out their wishes and how they want their estate to be distributed, the process should be fairly simple. However, in most cases, even if a will has been left, there are other factors that can be difficult to understand.
Hiring our complete estate service will relieve the burden and offer all the assistance you need. Whether you or the executor has already obtained Grant of Probate or not, when you use our complete estate service you remain the executor; we just administer the entire estate on your behalf.
Our Complete Estate Service
From the day we take your instructions, we are acting on your behalf. Our service goes beyond just handling the paperwork. Our service covers:
- Confirm the eligibility of the executors and apply for Grant of Probate (if required).
- Review the validity of the will and other related documents, like an estate plan.
- Consider inheritance tax reliefs potentially applicable to the estate.
- Assess the nature, extent and value of the estate’s assets and liabilities for inheritance tax purposes.
- Liaise with HMRC regarding the valuations of the estate’s assets and/or liabilities that we have supplied or retrieved.
- Collect the estate’s assets, close accounts and discharge any liabilities of the estate.
- Liaise with asset holders on your behalf.
- Arrange insurances for any property that needs to be safeguarded during the administration period.
- Liaise with the Department for Works & Pensions regarding any liability arising from overpaid benefits or the ineligibility of benefits due to an oversight in providing full disclosure of capital or income.
- Liaise with charities and their designated offices on your behalf (if required).
- Discuss with HMRC the basis of calculation of any past, current or future liability for inheritance tax, capital gains tax, income tax or any other taxes following application for probate.
- Arrange for any statutory notices required to be published in The Gazette and local newspapers to protect you from any challenges to the estate (the advert fees are charged at cost).
- Arrange for the final distribution of the estate to entitled beneficiaries.
- Prepare final estate accounts covering the period of estate administration.
- Stop any unwanted mail addressed to the deceased and safeguard against identity theft.
At all times, we will keep you fully updated on the administration process and are always on hand to provide with support and advice. It is worth noting at this point that there are some situations that are not covered by our complete estate service, including:
- A dispute about the will or questions on its validity;
- A beneficiary being left out of a will deliberately by the deceased and they want to make a claim;
- Assets held in a trust or the will states that a trust must be created;
- An insolvent or bankrupt estate;
- The deceased either lived abroad or died abroad; and
- The estate includes property or assets that are foreign to the UK.
However, we are able to investigate and handle these matters on your behalf, if required.
Benefits of using an estate administration service
There are a variety of benefits to using an estate administration service, including:
- They will help shoulder the burden of managing the deceased’s estate.
- They are specialist probate solicitors who thoroughly understand administration process.
- They are legal professionals and will understand the legal jargon that is used in much of the documentation.
- They are able to liaise with HMRC, insurance companies, pension providers and other representatives in settling any liabilities attributed to the estate. This includes closing any relevant accounts and obtaining life insurance funds on your behalf.
- They fully understand the different tax liabilities that an estate incurs, including any potential tax reliefs that can be applied to reduce the tax burden.
- They will complete and file all the necessary documentation on your behalf, including applying for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (if no will has been left by the deceased).
- They will ensure that all the relevant tax exemptions and reliefs have been applied, that HMRC’s tax calculations are accurate and ensure payment deadlines are met.
- They will collect all the estate’s assets, obtain valuations (if necessary), and distribute the assets in accordance with the deceased’s wishes in their will. If no will has been left, they will organise the equal distribution between family members.
- They will prepare and submit final estate accounts that details all estate transactions/payments, assets sold and distributed, debts settled and other related costs.
Probate can be a time consuming, lengthy process, sometimes taking as long as a year or more depending on the complexity of the deceased’s estate. Whilst you and the executors are entitled to manage the administration by yourself, any mistakes made in tax calculations or incorrect information on documentation will not only delay probate, you or the executor could be held financially or legally responsible for the error.
As well as supporting you throughout the probate process, we are also able to advise on any other legal matters relating to the deceased and their estate.
When you use our Complete Estate Service, our specialist probate solicitors will take responsibility for their work, relieving you from any legal or financial burden.
At Probates Online, we offer a Complete Estate Service to help you through the probate process and estate administration upon the death of a loved one. If you are looking for advice on inheritance tax, gifts or trusts, or need to apply for Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration or would like to take advantage of our entire Estate Administration service, visit our website for more information or contact us today.