Death, Will and Asset: You Ready?

As death is a matter of great grief and we often fear the event knowing we all will eventually die someday. A range of events trigger when someone dies; if not organising obituary, wakes, post-funeral reception are enough hectic, who will take charge on the departed one’s will, assets or financial affairs is a question of great obligation. In this writing, we will try to provide you with some tips to make the process easier:

Availability of Will:

The first thing you need to locate is whether or not there is a Will. If yes then the named person who is known as the ‘executor’ will carry out the wishes noted by the departed. On the other hand, in case a Will is absent the next of kin known as the ‘administrator’ will be automatically in charge of the responsibility.

To prove your status as executor or administrator, you may need to apply for a grant of probate as Banks only accept instructions from either the executor or administrator of the Will. In terms of due inheritance tax, large banks usually pay HMRC directly from the deceased’s bank account. You need to obtain probate from the estate by maintaining all the prerequisites accordingly. 

Prioritising Responsibility:

Be it as the executor or administrator, the primary responsibility would be to recover arrears, resolve official concerns and dispense assets if required as soon as you obtain probate. You will have to deal with a huge amount of confidential financial information and paperwork depending on the decedent’s influence thus, we advise you to be focused and organised to avoid mishandling.

You can always ask assistance from one of two trusted friends or family members as you have to communicate with all utility enterprises, government organisations and commercial entities the departed had a relationship with. In case of a joint account, be it a second debit or credit card, banks automatically freeze the account as soon as they learn about the death. Upon request, a bank usually changes the account name to either the executor or administrator of the Will for further transactions.

Paying Debts and Managing Liabilities:

Paying debts and tax should you pay first once you have obtained the probate. Make sure before any money, possessions or property transfers into the hand of the inheritors, deceased’s hire purchase agreements, store cards, credit cards, loans, mortgages and any other commercial debt should be covered. Secured debts should be paid off (like mortgages) on a priority basis while paying for funeral costs or other debts like taxes should follow subsequently.

Conclusion: 

Managing emotions and financial responsibilities together can be overwhelming. Financial debts are liabilities that cannot be overlooked and need to deal seriously to avoid mismanagement or loss. It is always great to have an expert while managing Will when someone dies. Pre-planning for funerals and other subsequent events may limit unwanted complexities.

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