Estate Management

Wirral folk enjoy a good quality of life, with a higher number of elderly people than the English and Welsh average. This reminds us, however, that when a person dies, someone needs to manage their estate. If you’re planning your finances, be sure talk to Endeavour Financial Planning about how trust and tax planning will help your estate management after you die.

If the deceased has left a will, a named executor will be appointed. If there is no will, a relative or close friend will need to apply to be the estate administrator.

Value the estate

The first thing that the executor needs to do is make sure that all assets of the estate are valued, including property, shares, bank accounts, savings and high-value items such as jewellery. If the deceased has any debts, then these must be noted.

Probate and inheritance tax

Inheritance tax will be due if the estate is valued over a certain amount, and it’s wise to check the website for the latest guidance on what that amount is.

Probate is a legal document that authorises the executor or administrator to manage the estate, Probate is obtained from the Probate Registry Office who will also collect inheritance tax. If the sale of estate assets is required to pay the tax, then the executor can apply to HMRC for a grant of credit that allows probate to be granted before the tax is paid.

If the deceased left little money, has no property, or the estate was held jointly with a living partner, then probate is not required.

Another choice is to use a probate specialist who will manage the estate on behalf of the executor.

Pay off debts and taxes

If there are debts, they will need to be paid off by the estate. If the deceased owed any taxes, these must also be paid.

Distribute the estate

After debts and taxes have been paid, then the rest of the estate can be distributed. If the deceased left a will, they will have specified how the estate is to be distributed. If there is no will, then generally the estate assets will pass to the deceased partner or nearest relative.

If you are an executor, you can appoint a solicitor to manage the whole process on your behalf, but they will generally charge a large fee.

For advice on minimising inheritance tax and information on how setting up a trust can make your estate more financially efficient, contact Endeavour Financial Planning today.

Taxation, Estate Planning, Will Writing and Trusts advice are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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