Do you need a Will to administer an estate?

The period after a loved one has died is an incredibly difficult time and can be exacerbated by not knowing the requirements for handling the estate.

After navigating the immediate steps that must be taken after the death of a loved one, it is time to consider how the estate will be administered.

Locate the Will
To move forward with this, it is necessary to locate the Will (if there is one) to divide the estate in line with the deceased’s wishes.

The Will usually names an Executor to handle the duty of administrating the estate. This could be a sole Executor, or multiple people may have been named to carry out the duties jointly.

At this stage, it is important to check the validity of the Will which includes ensuring that the Will is the latest version and is in writing. The Will should be signed and dated by the person who made it, as well as being witnessed by at least two adults (these witnesses should not be beneficiaries).

If there is not a Will in place, the estate can be divided by an individual who takes on the role of Administrator, who is often next of kin.

Value the estate

Ahead of obtaining the relevant approval to administer the estate, it is necessary to value the estate, which includes valuing all assets (including property, savings, and possessions), along with any debts that need to be paid.
Gifts given within seven years of the individual’s death should also be accounted for in the valuation process.

Next steps
If an Administrator has been selected, they will need to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration to continue with the process of administering the estate.

Executors must apply for a Grant of Probate if the value of the estate exceeds £5,000.

Do you need help navigating the probate process? Don’t hesitate to contact Ashford & Partners for sensitive and expert support. Get in touch with us today or request a call back from our team.