As a personal representative (an executor or administrator) you’re legally responsible for the money, property and possessions of the person who died (the ‘estate’s assets’).

You’re responsible for the assets from the date of death until the date everything has been passed on to the beneficiaries. This is known as the ‘administration period’.

You may have to apply for probate before you can deal with some assets.

During the administration period you may have to:

  • pay any debts left by the person who died
  • sell assets such as properties or shares
  • pay Income Tax on things like rental income from property, profits from a business or interest from investments
  • pay Capital Gains Tax on profits from selling shares, investments or property
  • report the estate value, income and tax liability to HM Revenue and Customs

You can get professional legal advice and help, such as from a solicitor, to deal with any estate. You should consider this if the estate has a lot of assets or includes things like trusts.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

If you’re dealing with the estate with someone else

If you’re not the only personal representative you should agree with the others:

  • where to hold financial assets - you can set up a bank account known as an ‘executorship account’ if needed
  • rules on making withdrawals or payments from any accounts connected to the estate
  • what assets you need to sell and when
  1. Step 1 Register the death

  2. Step 2 Tell government about the death

    The Tell Us Once service allows you to inform all the relevant government departments when someone dies.

    1. Use the Tell Us Once service to tell government
    2. If you cannot use Tell Us Once, tell government yourself

    You'll also need to tell banks, utility companies, and landlords or housing associations yourself.

  3. Step 3 Arrange the funeral

  4. Step 4 Check if you can get bereavement benefits

  5. and Deal with your own benefits, pension and taxes

    Your tax, benefit claims and pension might change depending on your relationship with the person who died.

    1. Manage your tax, pensions and benefits if your partner has died
    2. Check how benefits are affected if a child dies
  6. and Find bereavement support and services

    Get help with managing grief and the things you need to do when someone dies.

    1. Find bereavement help and support
    2. Find bereavement services from your local council
  7. and Check if you need to apply to stay in the UK

    If your right to live in the UK depends on your relationship with someone who died you might need to apply for a new visa.

    Check the rules if:

    1. Contact UKVI to check the rules for other visas
  8. Step 5 Value the estate and check if you need to pay Inheritance Tax

    To find out if there’s Inheritance Tax to pay, you need to estimate the value of the property, money and possessions (the ‘estate’) of the person who died.

    1. Estimate the value of the estate to find out if you need to pay Inheritance Tax
    1. Find out how to report the value of the estate
    1. Pay Inheritance Tax if it’s due
  9. Step 6 Apply for probate

    You might need to apply for probate before you can deal with the property, money and possessions (the ‘estate’) of the person who died.

    1. Check if you need to apply for probate
    1. Apply for probate
  10. Step 7 Deal with the estate

    Pay any debts or taxes owed by the person who's died. You can then distribute the estate as set out in the will or the law.

    1. You are currently viewing: Deal with the estate
    1. Update property records