It happens to all of us – we lose people we love and it’s heartbreaking. It’s hard enough dealing with the emotional side of things let alone having to wade through all the paperwork in transferring money, properties, shares etc.
Based on our experience in administering many estates, we’ve grouped the administration process into six key steps.
- Confirm assets and liabilities
The assets and liabilities of the estate must be verified before a formal valuation can be conducted. Following this, a statement of assets and liabilities is prepared and forms part of the information that is provided to the Supreme Court if probate is required.
- Calculate tax implications, including personal tax returns and capital gains tax
An individual tax return from the period 1 July to the date of death must be prepared and lodged on behalf of the deceased by the executor. We suggest that beneficiaries seek specialist advice in relation to the GST implications of passing on or disposing of the assets of a deceased estate.
- Apply for probate
The executor of the estate may be required to obtain Court confirmation as to the validity of the will and to collect the estate assets. This is called the grant of probate and it may be required before the assets of the estate can be dealt with (administered).
- Collection and realisation of assets
Once probate is granted, the executor will collect the assets of the deceased, realise assets, pay liabilities and expenses and provide for gifts (bequests) and legacies under the will. The distribution of the estate assets can be delayed if the executor is put on notice that a claim is being made against the estate.
- Payment of gifts and bequests
Subject to the collection and realisation of assets, payment of liabilities and there being no notice of any claims (or potential claims), cash gifts and specific items gifted under the will such as furniture and jewellery, can be distributed.
- Distribution of the estate
Subject to the payment of gifts and bequests and no claims having been made against the estate, the remainder of the estate can now be distributed, provided all beneficiaries have been properly identified. Once the distribution of the estate is completed, each beneficiary who is entitled to share in the estate will be provided with detailed financial statements.
Don has been working with families for a long time as a trusted advisor
The administration of a will can be a long process and can vary between six months to years. Factors such as a legal challenge to the will and complexities of the estate can also affect the timing.
Once you speak to us about administering the estate, you will leave your first meeting with us having peace of mind knowing that all these matters are in order.