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Administering the estate of a deceased person is a challenging and time-consuming process with plenty of traps for the unwary.  Executors are personally liable for the debts of the deceased, and that includes income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax.  Quite a responsibility.

 

Here at Bells, we have nearly 250 years’ experience of dealing with estates both large and small.  Along the way we have acquired an outstanding reputation within the legal profession for the quality and efficiency of the work we carry out in this challenging field.  Our specialist probate practitioners offer professional and sympathetic support at a difficult time.

 

The process in outline

 

Once the Personal Representatives (whether executors or administrators) have signed up as clients we will take the responsibility off their shoulders and act as their guide throughout the entire administration process from start to finish.

 

We will begin by meeting the Personal Representatives and (at their discretion) the main beneficiaries, in order to explain the terms of the Will.  If there is no Will, we’ll explain who benefits under the rules of intestacy as a matter of law.

 

At this initial meeting we’ll collect all or some of the paperwork, such as insurance policies and savings and loan records.  We’ll explain how we deal with each issue and explain if anything is likely to delay us in completing the administration.

 

Our first priority is to protect the estate and its assets.  We will then settle the debts and liabilities and make sure that beneficiaries receive what is due to them promptly and impartially.  Our role is to ensure that the terms of the Will are carried out, to the letter, and that the executors or administrators are not exposed to any claims.

 

 At an early stage we will aim to provide an estimate of the level of fees that could be incurred and the time that the process is likely to take.

 

When the administration is complete, we will produce a set of estate accounts and send copies to the Personal Representatives and main beneficiaries showing how we intend to distribute the assets and settle the liabilities, including our fees.

 

During the administration, we will of course be there to deal with concerns and queries and to explain anything that isn’t clear.

 

We have produced a useful free guide to the administration process which you are welcome

to download and read at your leisure (see 'Related material'  to the left of this page).

 

Bells Solicitors Limited.   Registered in England and Wales no. 07827988.   Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.   SRA number 569030.   VAT registration number 137595285