What is estate administration?

The assets, debts, pensions and so on of the person who's died - that's their 'estate'.

Estate administration means sorting it all out from start to finish. It includes paying inheritance tax (if there is any - it's due after about 5% of deaths), closing accounts, selling shares, transfering money to beneficiaries, and so on. Any questions about this page? Our friendly experts are here to help.

The difference between probate and estate administration


  • An official court document
  • Often needed to unlock the assets of the person who’s died
  • Obtained from HM Courts & Tribunals Service
  • Needed after about half of all deaths in England & Wales
  • Can be time-consuming and stressful

Estate administration

  • A process
  • Different every time, depending on the circumstances
  • Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s very complicated
  • Usually, one part of it is getting probate
  • Includes sorting out bank accounts, shares, property, inheritance tax and beneficiaries.

Would you like someone to handle estate administration for you?

Our friendly experts can answer your questions and give you a quote. We’re open 9am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday.

Our other probate guides: What is probate?, Probate jargon explained

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