Being the executor for someone’s estate after they die carries many responsibilities – not least, making sure that any unoccupied property is effectively insured.
Obtaining probate can sometimes take time and insuring the property can easily be overlooked. However, it is vitally important to ensure that the assets of the estate – and the property is normally the most valuable of these – are properly protected until they can be distributed to beneficiaries.
Failure to adequately insure a property can mean that you, as the executor, could be held personally responsible if something happens such as a break-in, a burst pipe or a fire, which results in losses to the estate.
As executor you are responsible for dealing with anything and everything owned by the deceased at the date of death.
When the deceased has left a house that is now empty, you need to:
Bricks and mortar
When someone dies the key role of an executor is to ensure the assets in the estate are well cared for and that includes any empty property.
It is important to secure the building. You should consider changing the locks or installing a burglar alarm to prevent break-ins, removing valuable items and making sure it is inspected regularly.
You should arrange a postal redirection but also ensure you collect post so it doesn’t build up on the doormat – a clear sign the property is empty – and take practical steps like making sure the heating is set to come on with a timer over the winter months.
These simple steps can ease your role as an Executor and ensure that you maximise the assets in the estate.
For more information, please see our Legal Guides:
For help and information about probate issues, please contact any member of Wards Solicitors’ Wills, Probate and Mental Capacity Team