Losing someone you love is never easy. And, for families faced with administering an estate, it can be even harder. At such times, the support of a professional can help to reduce the burden.
Many people seek professional help when grieving. Not least because, the pressure of administering the financial affairs of a deceased loved one can be overwhelming.
Even the most organised of us might not cope well. Particularly as, for many people, looking after themselves and their family takes up most of their time.
When someone dies, it’s not uncommon for family disputes to arise. This can happen regardless of the size and complexity of an estate (the money and possessions left by the deceased). But, having a neutral party you can turn to for impartial, professional advice can help to relieve any tension and stop it from escalating.
What is involved when administering an estate?
Probate is the legal process for dealing with the distribution of a person’s estate after they have died. There are many duties and obligations under Probate, including:
- Getting a Grant of Probate (where there is a Will)
- Interpreting the Will correctly
- Making sure you are working from the right Will
- Ensuring the Will is carried out correctly
- Identifying all of the assets of the estate
- Correctly valuing the assets
- Identifying and settling the liabilities of the estate
- Establishing how much the estate is worth
- Ensuring that the estate is appropriately managed
- Opening an executor’s bank account to hold estate funds during the administration period
- Looking after unoccupied properties (e.g. making sure they are insured)
- Preparing tax returns for Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Income Tax and Stamp Duty Land Tax
- Placing Trustee Act notices to advertise for creditors to come forward.
Sometimes this process can get contentious and lead to unwelcome and stressful family disputes.
Do you need professional help?
You can administer an estate without a lawyer, however expert advice can be hugely valuable. Dealing with an estate can be a complex and emotionally challenging process, but you need to stay focused. Not least because, without legal expertise, errors and delays are not uncommon.
Crucially, if you make a mistake or fail to administer the estate in an efficient and timely manner, you could be held personally liable. Professional advice will make sure you are supported and protected.
To find out more about how we can help, take a look at the Estate Administration section on our website, or speak to one of our expert team. Call us at legalmatters on 01243 216900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.