Distributing the Estate
What is the ‘Estate’?
The estate is everything owned by that person. It is their net worth, which may include land, property, possessions, shares, cash, etc.
Some people may have an estate plan, setting out in writing how they would like it to be distributed and managed after their death.
More often there may be a Last Will & Testament, Letter of Wishes, or other documents detailing their possessions and what should happen to them.
When Does the Reading of the Will Take Place?
This depends upon the wishes of the family and whether a valid Will has been located. The reading often takes place as soon as possible so that executors can be identified and an application for Probate made (see Probate and Legal Advice).
Payment of Inheritance Tax (IHT)
Inheritance Tax (IHT), generally payable on estates with a value in excess of £325,000, must be paid within six months from the end of the month of death. Even estates below this threshold should be reported to HMRC. For further details, see the Government information on inheritance tax.