Losing a loved one is a sad and traumatic time that also creates a host of financial complications that you may need to resolve. Finding their Will is an important step, as it will confirm who they appointed to act as their Executor to administer their estate, which includes settling any debts and passing the assets on to the beneficiaries.

It’s the Executor’s role to apply for a Grant of Probate, the official authorisation needed to deal with the deceased’s assets. However, before this can be issued, the estate must be valued, any liability to inheritance tax calculated and some if not all of the tax paid.

Informing the authorities When the death is registered, a death certificate will be issued. This is needed as proof by financial institutions and other companies, such as banks and insurers, and you may find it useful to buy extra copies to avoid waiting for the original to be returned each time.

There will be various government departments to inform. Depending on where you live, it should be possible to access the “Tell Us Once” service that enables you to report the death in one go.

It will notify HMRC, inform the Department for Work and Pensions to stop benefits, and also ensure that the deceased’s passport and driving licence are cancelled, and their name removed from the electoral role.

Don’t forget you’ll likely need to contact banks, credit card and insurance companies, utilities, telephone and broadband suppliers and satellite T services too. You may also need to access assets held online, such as PayPal and savings accounts. Going through bank statements should help you track everything down.

Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances. Tax treatment, rates and allowance are subject to change.

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