People commonly refer to the process of administering a deceased person’s estate as Probate.
The people responsible for administering the estate, known as the personal representatives, have a number of duties including:
- Identifying if there is a valid Will
- Identifying and valuing the asset and liabilities of the estate
- Reporting the value of the estate to HMRC and paying any Inheritance Tax due
- Applying for a Grant of Representation , either a Grant of Probate where there was a Will or Grant of Administration where the deceased did not have a will or the executors are not applying
- Collecting the assets and settling the debts of the deceased
- Responding to any claims that may be made against the estate
- If there is any income or Capital Gains tax to pay, reporting this to HMRC and paying the tax due
- Preparing Estate Accounts, detailing the financial position of the estate
- Correctly identifying and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries
The length of time it takes to administer each estate varies, because much depends on how complex the estate is. This can be because there are a large number of assets or beneficiaries, or because there are assets or beneficiaries overseas, or it is a high value estate for example.
Generally, we would expect it to take between 3 to 6 months to obtain the Grant and then a further 3 to 6 months to complete the administration. That being said, more straightforward estates can be dealt with in a shorter time but it is not unusual for more complex estates to take a number years to be concluded.
At Stephensons, our probate department can either deal with the whole estate administration process for you or apply for the Grant of Representation for you, leaving you to free to complete the administration process yourself. We offer fixed fees depending on your preferred option and are always happy to have an initial no obligation chat to discuss your matter. If you would like to speak to a member of our Wills and Probate team so discuss how we can assist please call us on 0161 696 6238 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.