Administering an Estate and what you need to do

(Last Updated: 11/04/2024)
4 min read
Administering an estate of a friend or family member is a job that comes with huge responsibility which is governed by Law and often driven by beneficiaries looking to get their share of an estate. The process for handling an estate is complicated and requires research to get it right if you are doing it yourself. For many though, they choose for a solicitor to handle the process for them and for the estate to pay the reasonable fees the solicitor charges for doing the work.

We handle the complete service of administering the estate including application for Grant of Representation, payment of Inheritance Tax due, collection of the estate's assets, conveyancing for the sale, payment of any debts/unpaid bills and final distribution to the beneficiaries. Call 0333 344 3234 for a Fixed Probate Fee Quote for Wills & Probate specialists.

What is the Probate process?

The process for administering an estate follows the following route:


    Find the deceased's will

Check if there is a will and get a copy of the death certificate. If there is no will then you'll be applying for Grant of Letters of Administration instead of a Grant of Probate.


    Apply for Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration

Apply for a Grant of Representation (also known as Grant of Probate) if there is a will or Grant of Letters of Administration - may not be needed if net value of estate is under £10,000.


    Pay any inheritance tax (IHT)

Before you pay out any of the deceased's estate you need to calculate if the value of the estate will attract any inheritance tax.


Calculate your inheritance tax here

Did the deceased gift any assets?

Gifts made between 1 to 7 years where your estate is over £325,000 have a rate of Inheritance Tax to pay. This rate reduces for the gift based on the length of time between the gift and death.
Number of years before death
Rate of IHT on the gift
0 to 3 Years
3 to 4 years
4 to 5 years
5 to 6 years
6 to 7 years
7 or more years

    Collect the assets

Use the Grant of Probate to collect the deceased estate's assets eg. money at bank, sale of a car, sale of a house. Read this article on How to sell a probate property. Not all assets are sold and some are passed as they are to the beneficiary such as jewellery.


    Pay off the deceased's liabilities

Pay any debts eg. gas bills, council tax, telephone bill.


    Pay the beneficiaries

Distribute the estate - giving any property, money or possession to the people entitled to it (Beneficiaries). The beneficiaries of an estate are set out within the will of the deceased, or if there is no will then the estate is distributed as per the Intestacy Rules (read this article on who inherits under intestacy).

What is the role of an executor of a Will?

When there is a Will

The person who handles the final wishes of the a deceased person is stated within their will and these people are called Executors. You normally have two executors named in a will, however you can have as many as 4.

When there isn't a will

The person who handles the administration of an estate intestate (an estate without a will) is called the Administrator.

Need help from a Probate Solicitor

With the death of a close family member or friend, you may not be feeling up to the task of administering the estate. If this is the case then you can employ the services of a solicitor to handle the whole process for you. The solicitor's legal fees are normally covered as an expense under the estate so you don't have to pay for this yourself.

Our team of Wills & Probate solicitors are on hand to help through handling this for you. Our fees are fixed for all the work from grant of probate to final distribution.

Call our specialists on 0333 344 3234 or email

Frequently Asked Questions
Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Written by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Reviewed by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

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