The administration of someone’s estate is a process that is followed after a loved one has passed away. The process varies depending on each individual circumstance. We at Agri Advisor are able to provide many years of experience and specialist knowledge in this field, enabling the process to be navigated as efficiently and cost effective as possible.
When dealing with administration of an estate, the priority will be to register the deceased’s death within 5 days of date of death and to find out whether they left a valid and executed Will. If so, then an application will be made for a Grant of Probate (‘Probate’). The Probate will give the Executors, appointed under the Will, the necessary authority from the Court to collect all assets included in the deceased’s estate and to distribute them in accordance with the deceased’s Will.
If the deceased died without a Will, this is referred to as having died Intestate, and obtaining a Grant of Letters of Administration shall be the appropriate process. Those with authority to apply to the Court for this type of Grant shall be the next of kin (such as a spouse, children etc).
Depending on the value of the deceased’s estate, and the assets which comprise the same, a return will also have to be submitted to HMRC (either an IHT205 or an IHT400).
Careful consideration will need to be given to the information provided on the IHT forms particularly when considering the reliefs and exemptions that can be applied to ensure that the estate’s tax position is mitigated as much as possible. Such exemptions and reliefs include a Nil Rate Band, Residential Nil Rate Band, Agricultural Property Relief, Business Property Relief, and Charitable Exemptions. The correct application of these reliefs can make all the difference between tax being payable and tax not being payable on an estate. It is imperative therefore that where IHT is likely to be payable on an estate, that advice from a lawyer with specialist knowledge in this field is obtained. We have been able to save our clients hundreds of thousands of pounds by careful application of these reliefs and their importance should not be overlooked.
In that regard also, we will consider:
- The deceased’s business and business structure.
- The use of land at the date of death, if occupied by a third party, and the nature of such occupation.
- The estate of their spouse.
- Probate Valuations of the land and property.
- The consideration of a Deed of Variation so as to distribute the estate in a more tax efficient manner.
- Dealing with cross-border estates.
For any further advice or guidance in relation to administration of estates, please give us a call on 01558 650381 to arrange a meeting with one of our Probate lawyers who will be happy to assist. We are able to offer meetings via an office appointment, telephone appointment, video appointment or home visit.