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HMRC internal manual

Trusts, Settlements and Estates Manual

Legal background to trusts and estates: deceased was self-employed

The deceased’s business ceases at the date of death. Executors may continue the business only if the will gives them specific powers to do this. Otherwise they can keep it going only to arrange a sale.

Executors cannot access any funds held by the deceased until they get a grant of probate. Often there are day-to-day expenses that cannot wait until then, particularly if the deceased was self-employed. They may have to arrange a bank overdraft.