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I’ve been asked to oversee someone’s estate – what do I do?

Executors are the people appointed by the deceased in his or her Will.  They are responsible for carrying out the wishes of the deceased as set out in the Will, including making the arrangements for the funeral.
First of all, the executors will need to collect in all the financial information about the deceased’s estate by contacting the banks, building societies, insurance companies and any company where the deceased held assets, to obtain the date of death values.
Similarly, if the deceased had any debts, the executors need to contact all and any creditors to obtain confirmation of any amounts outstanding. This can include utility companies like the gas or electricity supplier, loans outstanding, mortgages, and any credit card balances outstanding.
Once all the information has been obtained, the executors may need to apply for a Grant of Probate, if the deceased’s gross estate exceeds £5,000.  In addition, if the gross estate exceeds the current Inheritance Tax threshold, the executors will need to pay this from the deceased’s estate before they can apply for the Grant of Probate.
Once the Grant of Probate is obtained, the executors will then need to collect in all the deceased’s money and property, pay all debts, finalise any Income Tax both to the date of death and during the period of administration, pay any Capital Gains tax due, and finalise any Inheritance Tax, by obtaining a clearance certificate from the Revenue.Once the above is done, the estate can then be distributed to the beneficiaries under the terms of the deceased’s Will and the administration of the estate can be finalised.Ensuring that someone’s estate is dealt with correctly is the executor’s responsibility.  An experienced probate solicitor will be able to guide you through the process to ensure that everything is executed correctly.

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