Estate Administration, Probate & Taxation

John Kerr were the first North West of England accountancy firm to be licensed to carry out probate work by their regulator the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

When someone dies, they may leave behind assets such as property, bank accounts, life policies, shares, cars and other possessions. In these circumstances someone will need to make arrangements to collect and distribute their estate (their property and possessions) and settle any debts or liabilities, including Inheritance Tax that may arise.

If there is a valid Will then the estate must be distributed according to the wishes of the deceased. Individuals named as Executors in the Will are responsible for administering the property and possessions of the deceased in line with their wishes.

Where there is no Will, the deceased has not made any decision on how the estate should be distributed. In this case the Intestacy Rules apply and the next of kin is required to administer the estate. This person is called the Administrator. The distribution of any estate will also be determined by the Intestacy Rules.

If someone close to you has died recently, you may have been named as an Executor in their Will or be required to act as their Administrator where there is no Will in place.

But what does that mean and what is involved? Unless you’ve experienced bereavement before, you will probably be unsure what you have to do.

Acting as an Executor or Administrator can be a very daunting prospect, especially once you realise that the role carries with it considerable responsibilities.

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry. We are here to help with practical advice and support.

You can appoint us to assist you with your responsibilities.  Remember, you do not need to use the solicitor or organisation who drew up the Will of the deceased.

If you prefer, you can appoint us to carry out all of the complexities in obtaining Probate and carrying out the Estate Administration tasks. Our service can assist you to complete all of the legal, tax and administrative processes involved and provide you with peace of mind and the added reassurance of dealing with a trusted and professional organisation.

Remember, whether there is a Will or not, administration of the estate will need to be carried out.

This typically involves obtaining valuations and dealing with the collection and distribution of the assets of the estate of the deceased. There is often a large amount of paperwork to be dealt with, numerous forms to be completed and letters written. Many of these tasks apply regardless of whether there is a Will or whether Probate is required.

In many circumstances the Executor or Administrator must apply to the Courts to obtain the right to deal with the estate of the deceased. This application process is called Probate.

Typically Probate is required in the following situations:

  • When property is held in the sole name of the deceased
  • When the deceased held assets typically worth £5,000 or more with financial institutions
  • When banks or insurance companies holding assets in the sole name of the deceased require a Grant of Probate before they will release funds or pay out on policies 

Please contact us if you think we may be able to assist.