The estate of a deceased person includes all they own. The estate could consist of:
- Cash and funds held in a bank or building society accounts. This could apply to funds received from a life insurance policy.
- Money owed to the deceased individual.
- Property, such as their house
- Personal belongings, such as their jewelry or car.
The estate is used to pay off any debts the deceased left behind, such as credit card balances, fuel bills, rent, or mortgages. The deceased’s estate is typically distributed among surviving family members and friends, either per the terms of the will or, if there is no will, according to specific legal rules called the rules of intestacy. Probate administration is the process that personal representatives go through to gather the deceased’s assets, pay off their debts and distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.
Roles of an estate administrator
The personal representative, often known as the executor or administrator, manages the entire estate. This entails:
- Locating all of the deceased person’s financial records
- Providing a duplicate of the death certificate to the entities holding the deceased person’s funds. Ask them to confirm the value of the assets owned at the time of death and the total income earned up until that point during the most recent tax year. Additionally, request that the bank accounts be frozen so that no one can withdraw money without the proper legal authorization.
- Establishing a bank account on the estate’s behalf
- Determining the amount of debt payable to the estate
- Obtaining information about any debts a deceased individual may have
- Creating a thorough inventory of the assets, debts, and money in the estate
- Determining the inheritance tax due and making the necessary arrangements to pay it
- Compiling and sending the documentation that HM Revenue and Customs and the probate registry require.
- Upon granting of probate or letters of administration, obtaining monies from banks, insurance companies, pension funds, and building societies
- Settling obligations, costs, and fees, such as attorney fees and probate fees
- Distributing the inheritance per the terms of the will or the intestacy laws.
Although there are a few exceptions, it is illegal to begin distributing the estate’s assets or receiving financial support from the estate before receiving probate or letters of administration.
Sorting out a person’s benefits, taxes, and National Insurance as quickly as possible after death is crucial. Taxes might need to be paid or refunded to their estate. Any government agency providing benefits to the deceased person should be informed of their passing, including the tax office. You must do this as quickly as possible following the person’s death.
You should attempt to get in touch with every debtor after someone passes away. You should publish a public notice so that creditors file a claim to recover their debt.
So much goes into estate administration, and it can be complicated, so seeking the help of a lawyer is advisable.