Estate Administration | Why You Don’t Have To Do It Alone
When someone passes away their estate is legally under the control of their named executor. Their main role is to ensure that the estate is administered in a way that adheres to the wishes of the deceased individual and the appropriate legislation.
The process of administering the estate involves dealing with their legal and tax affairs, ensuring that everything is done correctly while making sure that all tax is paid. Even though obtaining a Grant of Probate is part of the role, it is only a small part of the administration. The executor is required to deal with assets, including property, shares and personal possessions, as well as paying debts and inheritance tax. They must also deal with any underpayment or overpayment of tax or benefits, contact utility providers along with anyone else who the deceased had an account with. They should advertise the death so that anyone who was owed money by the deceased can come forward. If the executor doesn’t place advertisements, then they could find themselves personally liable for any debt that isn’t paid. Whatever is then left in the estate is passed onto the beneficiaries, with it being shared out according to the wishes of the individual who has passed away where they are contained within a legally valid Will.
Estate administration can be a difficult and complex task that is required after every death, even if there is no Will present. To recap, the process can include:
● Informing beneficiaries and answering any questions they might have
● Cancelling utilities or transferring them as well as redirecting post
● Managing all tax liabilities
● Advising on the distribution of assets in order to avoid or mitigate tax liabilities
● Calculating and paying inheritance tax where required to do so
● Managing all aspects of legal work
Being in charge of administering the estate and ensuring everything is carried out correctly is a big task. It is also a task that individuals will want to get right, even as a way of respecting the wishes of the deceased. Many people find that it is the time involved in dealing with the estate that is most difficult. What’s more, it also leaves them responsible for any errors they might make as part of the process. As a result, the process can prove to be extremely stressful while it can also be extremely emotional where the executor is a close family member or friend of the deceased.
Regardless of whether the estate is simple or complex, any issues that relate to the passing of a loved one are rarely simple to rectify. This is why most appointed executors seek professional guidance at the time of administering the estate, whether this is assistance with the tax forms or whether they ask a professional to handle it all for them.