If you haven’t had to manage the administration of a death before it can be daunting. Even if you do have experience of this, some general help and guidance can help to refresh your knowledge.
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.
Inheritance tax (IHT) account and Probate
From advising on how to deal with complex assets and valuation issues through obtaining information, form completion and submission to HMRC. Working with your own solicitor or one of our trusted advisers, we’ll assist with the grant application and then we’ll liaise with HMRC to obtain the IHT assessments and advise on tax payment.
Administration of the estate, accounts, tax returns and R185s
We can deal with or assist with selling the assets or transferring them to the legatees, paying the liabilities and advising on distributions. We’ll suggest how to minimise the administration burden and if tax returns can be avoided. Next, we can 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 will prepare detailed accounts, including for court proceedings if required. If there is a trust created under the will, we can advise on the registration of that trust and assist the trustees with compliance matters.
Minimising tax liabilities
Ideally, we will have had the opportunity to advise clients on their wills and IHT planning prior to death. If not, 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 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
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 supports you by reviewing inherited assets within the context of your overall financial situation, to advise on the best structure for your personal circumstances and your own objectives with regards passing on wealth.
If the deceased was involved in a business our corporate finance team can help with the valuation of private company shares.
Fair and transparent fees to keep things simple
At every stage of the process, we will 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.