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 tax on any income the estate generates
- 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.
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