When someone in the family dies, firstly, call your local funeral director to make the funeral arrangements.
Contact your local Registrar of Birth Deaths and Marriages to register the death. They are very helpful and knowledgeable, they will assist you on all aspects of this. When they ask you how many copies of the death certificate you need, ask for at least half a dozen because they will be needed later when you register the death with banks, building societies and the like. Only an original certified death certificate will be acceptable to them.
Check whether there is an original Will or if there is not an original Will any letters or indeed any other document that was left indicating what was supposed to happen to the assets. Obviously an original Will is best but if you can only find a copy that will do until you take further advice. You may find that no Will was left and so this will be an intestacy where the assets are divided according to law.
When you are looking for the Will don’t forget that it is most often lodged with the family solicitor who should be contacted straightaway.
You need to find out who the Executors are, if there is an original Will, and if there is no Will whoever is going to deal with all the formalities because that person will be “the Administrator” of the Intestacy and who will carry out all the actions and responsibilities of the Executor.
When you find the Will and if you see that you and perhaps someone else are the Executors you are in charge and you may wish to instruct solicitors to advise you on your responsibilities and carry out all the necessary work. If you would like us to act for you then we would pleased to do so. Please call us on 020 8574 0666 or email to email@example.com
If you find that it is a firm of solicitors who are the Executors you will need to contact them as a matter of urgency because they will be the Executors and their firm will carry out all the Executors work. If you do not want that firm of solicitors to act then you can ask them to “renounce” and then instruct any solicitor you like.
The next step is obviously to make an appointment to see us or whichever firm of solicitors you choose to instruct to discuss all the next steps.
Firstly all the individuals, companies and organisations with whom the Deceased had assets or liabilities are contacted and notified of the death.
Those individuals and organisations then respond confirming the extent of the asset or liability as at the date of the death and return the official copy of the death certificate.
All the assets and liabilities are then scheduled in what is called, “the estate account”.
From the estate account the inheritance tax is calculated and the appropriate payment to the Inland Revenue.
When the Inheritance Tax has been paid the Probate can be applied for, or if there is not a Will, the Letters of Administration.
The application for Probate or Letters of Administration is made to the local District Probate Registry of the High Court.
Once Probate or Letters of Administration have been granted the Executors the Administrators then own all the assets, in their capacity as Executors or Administrators for the purposes of putting the Deceased’s Will or the Intestacy Rules into effect.
The next step is to pay off any liabilities, perhaps just the funeral account and then distribute according to the Will or the Intestacy Rules.
If there was a property which was in joint names and one party survives then that party, if it is held as joint tenants, will take automatically but if it is tenants in common then it will be two separate halves and only one half will pass under the Will.
As soon as all the liabilities have been paid the distribution can be paid and that is the end of the estate administration.
If we can help in any way or if you have any queries please call us on 020 8574 0666 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Inheritance Tax latest – Transferable Tax-Free Allowances
Everyone is entitled to a tax-free allowance of £325,000 in respect of Inheritance Tax. This means that if the total value of assets is below this sum no inheritance tax will be due and inheritance tax at 40% will be payable only on the marginal amount over £325,000. By way of example, an estate worth £525,000 will only incur a tax liability against £200,000 and tax of £80,000 will be due.
Married couples or civil partners can transfer the element of their Inheritance Tax free allowance which they did not use to their spouse when they die. If, for example, the value of the Estate is less than the combined allowances of the spouses, currently £650,000 there would be no tax to pay.