PROBATE AND ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES

THE AFTERMATH OF A DEATH

Making a Will helps to plan what is to happen in the aftermath of a death, but nothing can adequately prepare us for the loss of a loved one. A lot of everyday tasks require attention and important decisions may have to be made with regard to the deceased’s property and personal belongings (for instance, should the house be sold?). Here we explains, in broad terms, what is involved and why it may be important to seek timely professional advice and assistance. Contact us for a no obligation communication

WHAT IS THE “ESTATE”?

When a person dies, everything he/she owned except assets where ownership ceases on death or passes automatically is referred to as the deceased’s “estate”. After payment of debts and taxes, the “estate” is divided among the beneficiaries in accordance with the deceased’s Will or if there is no Will, among the closest relatives in accordance with rules set out in the Succession Act. The rules relating to the distribution of estates also provides for civil partners as the relevant legislation was commenced in January 2011. Contact us for a no obligation communication

WHAT IS A PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE?

A personal representative can be either an ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’. Executors are the persons named in the Will to deal with the estate. Where there is a Will but no executor, or where there is no Will, the law provides who among the deceased’s beneficiaries or closest living relatives is entitled to deal with the estate; this person is called an administrator. Contact us for a no obligation communication

The functions of the personal representative involve:

  • Protecting the assets of the estate, e.g. making sure that everything is properly insured.
  • Taking reasonable steps to secure property and valuables.
  • Arranging lists of property and valuables and arranging for valuations of all property which was owned by the deceased including land, shares, bank accounts etc.
  • Finding out what debts have to be paid.
  • Obtaining all other information necessary to obtain the legal documents which will allow the executor or administrator to deal with the estate. Contact us for a no obligation communication

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