A Quick Guide To Estate Administration

The death of a loved one is a distressing time, however, estate administration must always be carried out regardless of the size of the estate. It is important that beneficiaries of an estate understand that estate administration is not a quick process, and in many instances can take over 12 months to complete.

This guide provides a general outline of what estate administration is and what administering an estate involves. As the circumstances of an estate differ in each case, it is not a comprehensive guide and if you have any questions, you should call us on 01925 418 004.

Immediate priorities

If you are responsible for administering an estate, your immediate priorities are to secure the deceased’s home and personal belongings and to collect important documents.

You may also be required to register the death at the local registry office and arrange the funeral.

Is there a will?

Sometimes the deceased will have the original or a copy of the will in their home, or you may find paperwork from a professional will writer such as a firm of solicitors referring to a will.

If there is a will, it will confirm who is appointed to act as executor and administer the estate. If it is held by a solicitor, they will only release it to the appointed executors upon receipt of the death certificate and identification.

If you cannot find a will, you should carry out a will search with a search agency such as The National Will Register.

If there is no will, the deceased’s estate must be administered in accordance with the laws of intestacy, and we recommend that you read our article on what happens if there is no will.

Estate administration

When administering an estate, you must collect assets, pay off debts and taxes and distribute the estate in accordance with the will or the laws of intestacy. Some of the steps involved in the process are: –

  1. Obtain full and up to date details of the deceased’s assets.
  2. Obtain details of the deceased’s liabilities.
  3. Determine whether a Grant of Representation is required estate (we recommend that you read our article on when a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration might be required).
  4. If a Grant of Representation is required, you will need to apply to the Probate Registry. Depending on the size and nature of the estate, you may need to submit an inheritance tax account to HMRC before a Grant of Representation will be issued to you.
  5. On receipt of the Grant of Representation, collect in the deceased’s assets and discharge any liabilities from those assets.
  6. Place statutory advertisements in the London Gazette and a local newspaper.
  7. Finalise the deceased’s income tax affairs.
  8. Prepare final estate accounts.
  9. Make distributions to all beneficiaries.

At Mark Reynolds Solicitors, we provide a comprehensive range of probate services for our clients. We understand that dealing with an estate can seem like a daunting process, and our experienced and professional team in Warrington can guide you through it. We can administer the estate in full on your behalf and we also offer a fixed fee grant of representation only service. Call 01925 418 004 or contact us online to find out more.