Whether there is a will or not the person dealing with the estate is under a legal duty to maximise the assets, minimise the liabilities and thus distribute as much as possible to everyone who is entitled to share in the estate.
We can advise you
- who is entitled to apply for and obtain a Grant to the estate,
- what to do if the person entitled doesn’t wish to act as Executor or Administrator,
- who is entitled to benefit from the estate either under a will or intestacy,
- what to do when a beneficiary has died,
- how to trace a missing beneficiary and how to invest their share of the estate in the interim period,
- advise beneficiaries of the estate about their own Inheritance Tax liability and whether the intestacy or will could be varied to minimise that liability,
We can also assist you to
- locate and value the assets of the estate whether from pension funds, state benefits or any other source,
- ascertain the debts of the estate,
- place statutory advertisements,
- insure assets of the estate,
- establish whether any Inheritance Tax is due on the estate taking into account available exemptions and reliefs and complete the relevant Inheritance Tax forms on your behalf, arrange any necessary loan to enable payment and arrange payment of the Inheritance Tax,
- prepare the necessary forms to make an application for a Grant and thereafter make the application,
- collect and cash in assets,
- discharge debts,
- finalise the deceased’s tax affairs, pension and benefits,
- transfer property or shares, prepare the estate accounts,
- pay legacies and distribute the estate in accordance with the will or intestacy rules whichever apply in your particular circumstances,
- obtain beneficiary’s receipts,
Some common legal terms:-
Administrator - a person appointed by the Court
to administer an estate where the deceased didn’t leave a will or if the
persons appointed to act under the will are unable or unwilling to do
Beneficiary – someone who inherits under a will or intestacy.
Executor – a person appointed by a Will to administer an estate.
Executrix – a female executor.
Grant of Probate – legal document confirming an executor’s authority to deal with an estate.
Grant of Letters of Administration – legal document confirming an Administrators’ authority to deal with an estate.
Guardian – someone appointed under a will to look after children under the age of eighteen.
Inheritance Tax Threshold – the amount above which Inheritance Tax will become due. If the value of the estate falls below this threshold (taking into account lifetime gifts etc.) no Inheritance Tax will be due.
Intestacy Rules – the formal rules laid down by statute setting out who is entitled to deal with and benefit from an estate where the deceased did not make a will
Intestate – someone who dies without making a will. The deceased’s estate will be dealt with under the Intestacy laws.
Personal Representative – person appointed to deal with an estate. If they are appointed by a Will they are known as an Executor. Where there is no will they are appointed by the Court and are known as an Administrator.
Residuary Estate – the deceased’s estate after all assets have been collected in and debts paid.
Testator/Testatrix – person who makes a will
Trust – where one or more people (trustees) hold property on behalf of others (beneficiaries).