Probate and estate administration support

We all know the saying about death and taxes, both are unavoidable. Having to handle both simultaneously can be daunting and you have enough to deal with. Let us help you to make the process as simple as possible.

We’ll start by talking to you and other personal representatives (PRs) to establish what level of support you need and then take you through each step. Even if you do have experience of this, some general help and guidance can help to refresh your knowledge.

Obtaining probate and IHT

Obtaining probate and Inheritance tax (IHT)

The first step of probate is to apply for the ‘grant of representation’ to prove your authority to administer the estate. From advising on how to deal with complex assets and valuation issues, through to obtaining information, form completion and submission to HMRC. Working with your own solicitor or one of our trusted advisers, we’ll assist with the probate grant application, liaise with HMRC to obtain the IHT assessments and advise on tax payment.

Estate administration

Estate administration

Accounts, tax returns and R185s

Once your grant has been approved by HMRC, you can use it to manage the estate and distribute the remainder of the assets after bills are paid. We can deal with or assist with selling the assets or transferring them to the legatees, paying the liabilities and advising on distributions.

We can also consider the implications where the estate includes overseas assets or if it’s a cross border estate, with international probate considerations. Our in-house US tax specialists are able to assist where relevant and we have contacts in most jurisdictions who we work closely with.

We’ll suggest how to minimise the administration burden and if tax returns can be avoided. We can also prepare the forms R185 required by the legatees for their personal income tax reporting. In most cases, detailed accounts won’t be required and we can prepare statements showing how the funds were realised and distributed. However, for substantial or contentious estates, we'll prepare detailed accounts, including for court proceedings if required.

If there is a trust created under the will, we can advise on the implications of keeping the trust. Our specialists can support with the registration of the trust and assist the trustees with all compliance matters. We can also help you to understand the options when it comes to managing, varying or terminating the trust.

Minimising tax liabilities

If we haven't already had the opportunity to advise on the wills and IHT planning prior to death, we’ll tell you what can be done to rearrange the estate to minimise tax liabilities. We can advise on deeds of variation or obtaining legal advice for claims under the Inheritance Act.

There are income tax and capital gains tax mitigation opportunities during the estate administration period too, such as timing distributions or transfers of assets prior to sale to make use of any losses or legatees non-UK tax status.

Other ways we can support you

Other ways we can support you

Although most pensions don’t form part of the estate for tax purposes they are still one of the many types of asset to consider as part of the financial planning for legatees. Our financial planning team can review any inherited assets and advise on the best structure for passing on wealth. If the deceased was involved in a business, our corporate finance team can help with the valuation of private company shares.

If you’ve received an inheritance, we can provide tax planning and advice on the options available. We can also assist with the preparation of your tax return which may be required if you find yourself with new sources of income. 

Fair and transparent fees

Fair and transparent fees, to keep things simple

At every stage of the process, we'll support and advise you in an empathetic and pragmatic manner, to bring the estate to closure efficiently. Whether or not we are acting as executor, we do not charge fees based on the value of the estate, but charge our usual hourly rates for time spent. We offer fixed fees for consultations and compliance work and quote in advance for the more detailed advice work.

Speak to an expert
Speak to an expert

If you're dealing with a death and looking for practical support for any stage of obtaining probate or administering an estate, please fill in the form below and one of our experts will be in touch to discuss your requirements and how we can help with professional advice tailored to your unique circumstances.

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