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How to deal with the property of someone who has died

Posted on Thursday, 25th July 2013 by

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Everything that a person who has died owns is called their estate. This can be made up of:


  • Money – both cash and money in the bank/building society
  • Money owed to the person who has died
  • Shares
  • Property
  • Personal possessions – cars, jewellery


Any money owed, so for example, credit cards charges or mortgage payments, they come out of the estate.


The estate usually passes to surviving relatives and friends, either from instructions on a will, or if no will is left, then according to the rules of intestacy. The person dealing with the estate is called an executor or an administrator. An executor is someone who was named in the will to deal with the estate. An administrator is someone responsible for dealing with an estate under certain circumstances, for example, if there is not a will or the named executors aren’t willing to act.


The executor or administrator takes responsibility for dealing with all of the estate. This involves:


  • Finding all informational that relates to financial matters
  • Sending a copy of the death certificate to organisations holding money of the person who has died.
  • Opening a bank account on behalf of the state
  • Finding out details of money owed to the state
  • Finding out details of money the person who has died owes
  • Preparing a detailed list of the property, money, possessions and debts in the estate
  • Working out the amount of inheritance tax to pay
  • Paying debts, expenses such as solicitors fees and probate fees
  • Sharing out the estate


If there are not enough assets in the estate to cover any outstanding tax, expenses and further more, a solicitors advice should be sought as this can become a very complex situation.

Emma Fuller is head of the private client team at EHL; our solicitors in Loughborough are experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Loughborough please contact us.

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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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Emma Fuller - Wills, Probate and LPA
Emma Fuller - Wills, Probate and LPA
emma.f@ehlsolicitors.co.uk 01509 212 108
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