What is estate administration?
Estate administration (sometimes referred to as Probate or Confirmation in Scotland) is the process of dealing with a person’s legal and tax affairs after they’ve died.
All estates need to be administered to some extent. This normally means dealing with all of their assets (such as property and personal possessions) and liabilities (such as outstanding debts) before transferring whatever is left to the beneficiaries.
How long will it take?
Estate administration is a long and complex legal process, so expect it to take months rather than weeks. As each estate is different, it is almost impossible to tell how long the process will take without knowing more about the specific nature of the estate.
If you are named as an executor in a Will, or the next of kin if there is no Will, you may need to think about:
Closing bank accounts and paying debts
Dealing with shares and investments
Selling property and assets
Dealing with Inheritance Tax
Dealing with Income Tax
Dealing with specialist legal work (trusts, potentially deeds of variation, etc.)
These are just some of the tasks that you may need to consider.
What are the options?
Some people decide to administer the estate by themselves but this can take a significant amount of time and effort, especially if you’ve never had to go through the process before. If you decide to undertake the work yourself, you should also be aware that you are personally liable for any mistakes made during the process, such as when completing tax returns and legal paperwork. For these reasons, many people prefer to appoint a professional to do the work on their behalf.
Estate Administration Professionals
I work with Premier Solicitors - a firm of solicitors with a specialist probate team. After an initial meeting with myself, you will receive a detailed quote, which will be fixed - unlike some probate specialists, who charge per hour.
I will then be available as your contact to guide you through all the steps of the process, so you have a local contact, rather than someone at the other end of an email.