Four stages in the administration of an estate

This blog explains the stages and timescales involved when you are the executor of someone’s affairs and have a legal responsibility to administer their estate.

Stage one

  1. Arrange valuations of all assets and obtain details of all liabilities, both held in the sole name and jointly owned. 8-12 weeks
  2. Obtain income information for Income Tax Return to date of death. 8-16 weeks

Stage two

  1. Prepare HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Inheritance Tax account and Oath for Executors or Administrators. 2 weeks
  2. Arrange for the papers to be signed and Oath sworn by Executors or Administrators. Dependent on Executors availability
  3. Arrange to fund and pay Inheritance Tax, where applicable, and submit Inheritance Tax account (within six months of death) and obtain HMRC receipt to include receiving receipted Probate Summary. 4-10 weeks
  4. Submit HMRC receipt and await issue of Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (Grant of Representation). 2-3 weeks
  5. Assess pre-death Income and Capital Gains Tax position and, where necessary, submit Income Tax Return to date of death. Ongoing, dependent on HMRC

Stage three

  1. Register Grant of Representation and collect assets. 6-8 weeks
  2. Pay liabilities, legacies and where appropriate, make interim distributions. 4-8 weeks
  3. On sale of freehold or leasehold properties, pay outstanding Inheritance Tax, finalise utilities and where applicable, make further interim distributions. Dependent on the property sale

Stage four

  1. Finalise Inheritance Tax position, deal with HMRC requisitions, submit Corrective Account and loss on sale claims where applicable and obtain clearance. 9-12 months dependent on HMRC
  2. Commence closing administration of estate to include preparation of administration period Income Tax Return, prepare Tax Deduction Certificates and obtain HMRC clearance. Dependent on HMRC
  3. Finalise Estate Accounts and obtain Executors and beneficiaries approval of the Estate Accounts and indemnities, and make final distributions. 6-10 weeks