Administration of Deceased Estates


Our Role in Administering an Estate?

Boylan Lawyers assist the executor in the administration of the estate of the deceased person by-

  • ascertaining what the assets and liabilities of the estate are;

  • taking charge of those assets in the name of the executor;

  • applying for Probate;

  • if necessary, on behalf of the executor, selling property of the estate to turn it into cash;

  • transferring property to beneficiaries;

  • paying the debts, including taxes;

  • preparing a distribution report and statement for the beneficiaries; and finally,

  • distributing the net assets to the beneficiaries named in the Will.

In the process we:-

  • inform you in detail about the rights and responsibilities of an executor;

  • prepare the forms needed to apply for probate;

  • advise you on the possibility of tax liability;

  • advise you about the legal order in which debts must be paid and the remaining assets distributed;

  • explain the legal order of distribution of the estate in a case where there is no Will; and

  • draw up the report and statement on the assets for the beneficiaries.


In short we administer the estate in the name of the executor under the direction of the executor.

The fees we charge for administering the estate are payable by the estate, not the executor. Our fees our fixed so the executor knows how much it is going to cost the estate.


What is an Executor?

If you have been named as an executor in someone’s Will it means the deceased person wanted you to administer his or her estate. Briefly, that involves ‘getting in’ the assets of the estate, paying all the debts and distributing the net assets according to the deceased’s Will.
The executors engage a lawyer to guide them through the process of the administration of the estate.


What Are an Executor's Responsibilties?

In general terms, your duty is to ascertain what the assets and liabilities of the estate are, to take charge of those assets, to see that debts, including taxes, are paid, and, finally, to distribute the net assets to the beneficiaries in the Will.
You should start by finding out and making a list of everything the deceased owned or was entitled to. You may have to have assets valued. Next you should find out what debts the deceased person had.

Depending on the nature and value of each asset in the estate you will administer the estate formally or informally. If land was owned by the deceased person the estate will have to administered formally. Banks and building societies etc. have varying rules which allow access to the deceased’s funds without a formal administration of the estate. Enquiry should be made of the body concerned to ascertain at what level it will insist on formal administration of the estate.

If it is necessary to administer formally, the executor must apply to the Probate Registry of the Supreme Court for a Grant of Probate. Probate is an order of the Court saying that the Will is valid and that the executor has the right to administer the estate.Applying for probate is quite technical. The executor must complete a number of forms to the satisfaction of the Registrar at the Supreme Court.


What Happens After Probate is Granted?

Once Probate has been granted the executor collects the deceased person’s assets and pays the deceased’s debts. Here it is important to find out the date and costs of acquisition of the deceased’s assets for the purposes of Capital Gains Tax.

Funeral expenses are first and then there is a particular order in which other debts must be paid. After funeral expenses are paid, the executor is entitled to claim any expenses relating to the administration of the estate before other debts are paid. Once debts have been paid, assets are either distributed amongst the beneficiaries according to the terms in the Will or they are sold and the money is divided among the beneficiaries.Finally, the executor must prepare a distribution report and statement for the beneficiaries, showing what the assets were, how much money resulted from any sale of assets and what expenses and debts were paid.


When Are the Assets Distributed?

When all assets have been identified and, if necessary, sold to raise cash, and all debts have been paid, the remainder of the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries.

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