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The importance of safeguarding assets after death
A quick search on the internet will reveal that each year in the USA approximately “$19billion is lost annually to fraud by criminals and abuse of trust by friends, family members, and paid helpers”. Whilst thefts from estates in this country are still relatively low, there are regular reports in the press about people being found guilty of stealing from the estate of someone who has died. This is one of the reasons we at Longmores are often appointed as a professional Executor, usually alongside a close member of the family, or a family friend.
All the solicitors at Longmores pride themselves in providing clients with advice that is tailored to their needs and everyone’s estate will be different. Here are ten general pointers that should be considered whenever someone dies and no one is living in their property.
- Are the security arrangements in place sufficient bearing in mind the value of any items inside the property?
- Should any items of high value be placed in secure storage away from the property, or indeed items of great sentimental value to avoid potential disagreements between members of the family who all want the same items?
- Who has access to the house and if that is not known, should the locks be changed?
- Does the property look empty or abandoned, or does it look lived in?
- Does the front garden/hedge need a quick trim?
- Has the post been redirected?
- Have the milk and newspaper deliveries been cancelled?
- Has the water in the house been turned off and the system drained for the winter months?
- Has the insurance company been notified of the death and/or that the house is empty? Most household insurances will cease after a certain period after a person’s death and specialist empty property insurance might be needed instead.
- Have the meter reading been taken and utility companies informed?
These are just some of the items that need to be considered and by entrusting Longmores with the administration of the estate, you can rest assured that these simple items are not overlooked following the death of a loved one, and the assets of the estate are protected and preserved.
For further guidance, please contact Charles Fraser.
Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances. Longmores Solicitors LLP are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and are not authorized to provide any form of financial advice.