What Does an Administrator of an Estate do?

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What Does an Administrator of an Estate do?

The Administrator of Estate is a job that should not be taken lightly as it holds important responsibilities. As an Administrator of Estate, you hold the duty of distributing and taking care of someone's estate, including their finances and debts after their passing.

If you want to find more information on the legal, tax, and asset-collecting duties that the Administrator of an Estate holds, keep reading as we explain all in this article from Bell Lamb & Joynson.


What is an Administrator of an Estate?

The Administrator of Estate is someone who handles the affairs of a deceased person, including their estate, when the deceased person leaves no Will.

The Intestacy Rules dictate who can act as an Administrator of an Estate in cases when the person who has died did not leave a Will, if there was no one named as Executor in the Will, or if the appointed Executor in the Will is unable to or unwilling to act.

The role of the Administrator of Estate involves a lot of administrative work, taxes, and legal issues to sort. The person will have to contact beneficiaries, calculate Inheritance Tax, and settle outstanding taxes and debts, and distribute the Estate to the beneficiaries.


Letters of Administration

Once the Inheritance Tax is calculated, the Administrator can complete the relevant Inheritance Tax Return and apply to the court for a Grant of Letters of Administration.

The Letters of Administration is a document that gives the Administrator the legal authority to deal with the deceased estate, including closing bank accounts and selling their property if they owned one. The administration of the estate cannot begin until the Letter of Administration has been granted. It is then the legal duty of the Administrator to distribute the estate efficiently and correctly.

There is an umbrella term that describes the Letters of Administration and the Grant of Probate. These are documents that permit someone to move forward with the distribution of someone's Will and administer their estate.


The Role of an Administrator of Estate

The role of the Estate Administrator involves administering the estate, including taking care of all the deceased’s assets, debts, and taxes, as well as distributing inheritances to the estate’s beneficiaries.

To understand the exact tasks of the Estate Administrator of Estate, read below to find out what this role entails.


Financial Information

The Administrator must gather all information regarding the deceased person’s finances. This includes contacting banks, insurance companies, pension providers, asset holders, and any other financial institutions where the deceased had accounts. The Administrator must obtain all this information to calculate the value of the estate at the date of death.

An Administrator must identify all assets and may need to organise professional valuations for high-value assets such as property or personal items. If there is a house or property involved in the estate, the appropriate insurance needs to be in place, including informing the insurer that the property is unoccupied and ensuring that the appropriate contents insurance is in place.

They must also ensure that the assets are secure and notify any affected parties of the death. This will involve sending death certificates to banks, utility companies, insurance companies, and others. Once the estate has been valued, the Administrator can calculate the total Inheritance Tax.


Apply for Letters of Administration

The Administrator will be able to apply for the Grant of Letters of Administration next. This document permits the legal distribution of the Will (if there is one) and the estate and enables the Administrator to close the deceased’s bank accounts and sell their property.


Calculate Outstanding Debts

After identifying all financial information, the Administrator can value the estate. The debts and inheritance must then be calculated and paid as quickly as possible, as HMRC will start charging interest after 6 months.


Notify the Beneficiaries

The Administrator must notify and locate the beneficiaries of the Will. If there are any issues, the estate may be at risk of claims against it. The Administrator is personally liable for ensuring the correct beneficiaries are identified.

To protect the Administrator of the Estate again claims post-distribution, it is necessary to account for the deceased’s debts by making a statutory advertisement. This is done in the London Gazette newspaper for a minimum of two months, and it is advisable to publish one in the deceased’s local paper as well if they owned property.


Prepare for Distribution

An estate distribution bank account will need to be opened. This account will collect all of the assets into one place, close the other bank accounts that are now empty and arrange for the sale of the estate’s property.


Debts Are Settled

Before distributing the estate, any outstanding debts, including Inheritance Tax, must be settled.

The Administrator is responsible for ensuring that the estate is distributed correctly to the beneficiaries. They should also keep a detailed record of the estate and where the assets are being delivered. The residuary beneficiaries should be provided with a copy of the Estate Accounts for their records.


Bell Lamb & Joynson

At Bell Lamb & Joynson, we have a team of specialist Wills & Probate solicitors who can assist you in planning for your future or dealing with the estate of a loved one.

We can provide support whenever you need it, whether you require help in administering an Estate, creating bespoke documents such as Power of Attorney, or drafting up your own Will.

Do not delay what you have been meaning to do for a while – speak to us today. With over 200 years of experience, we possess extensive knowledge in all aspects of Wills & Probate areas of the law.

Bell Lamb & Joynson is here to help you, always in a friendly yet professional manner. We can be your shoulder to lean on during challenging times.

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