Estate Administration : The Complete Guide

An administrator of an estate has a wide range of responsibilities that need to be taken into account. Missing just one of the many critical things required can result in a wide range of financial penalties and legal headaches. As such, it’s important to know what is expected of you in great detail.

Below we will list some of the many things you should know you are responsible for. Please be aware that this is by no means a complete or exhaustive list, there are many more responsibilities and tasks that need to be conducted.

The First Steps

  • Firstly you’re going to obviously need to check if there is a will that outlines the deceased’s wishes. If you find a will, you need to obtain a copy of it and find out where the original version is being kept.
  • Trace any missing beneficiaries that may be indicated in the will.
  • The DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) need to be aware of the death to stop any benefit and pension payments being made. This should be done as soon as possible to avoid potential repayment hassles.
  • Similarly, you should contact HMRC to let them know of the death.
  • Conduct a full analysis of all organizations the deceased may have outstanding debts with. This includes things like credit card companies, utility bills, and bank loans.
  • If the deceased is a homeowner, you should contact the insurance company to inform them of the death. You should also immediately remove any valuable items from their property because contents insurance usually stops at the moment of death (or soon thereafter).


Asset And Liability Valuations

  • Find out the value of the deceased’s cash assets at the time of death.
  • Get 2 or more independent valuations on any property that the deceased owns for an accurate and impartial valuation.
  • Research the possibility of the deceased owning property overseas. If you discover any indication of overseas property, then get them independently valued as per the point above.
  • If an overseas property was discovered, you will need to see if the deceased made a will in the country that the property is located in.


Tax And HMRC

  • You’ll need to create an inheritance tax account to deal with any taxes associated with the estate. The tax that is due will usually be payable from the estate itself, be sure to pay it as soon as possible and keep the receipt.
  • Prepare and submit a final self-assessment income tax return that includes all untaxed income the deceased made before the date of death.


Liquidate The Estate

  • Apply for probate to give you a grant of representation.
  • Liquidate the equity in the estate and sell the property where appropriate.
  • Ensure that any liabilities are paid off with the funds released from the liquidation of the estate before distribution.
  • Ensure that all personal effects that are directly mentioned within the will are distributed to the appropriate family members/friends.
  • Finally, distribute the estate’s assets as per the wishes of the deceased as outlined in their will.



So there you have it, an overview of the kinds of things you’ll be expected to do as an estate administrator.

As we mentioned before, this is not an exhaustive list, you should either hire a professional to get probate advice or do an extensive amount of research before you take these responsibilities on. Un-Modernised London Can aid with all Aspects of probate call us anytime.





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