Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Probate
Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Probate

The following Private Client practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Probate
  • What happens when the family of a deceased person are unable to register the death and make funeral arrangements due to being house-bound?
  • Registering the death
  • Funeral arrangements
  • Is there any inheritance tax exemption that may apply to the estates of key workers dying from coronavirus (COVID-19)?
  • What options are available to a PR who is house-bound in terms of applying for probate and administering the estate?
  • Immediate steps following a death
  • Ascertaining the estate assets and liabilities for the IHT account
  • Signing the IHT400 and probate papers
  • Electronic submission of IHT returns
  • More...

This Practice Note considers the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on probate practice and provides answers or guidance on some of the main issues arising for practitioners. Although adapted from some of our Q&As, the latest guidance and updates will be contained in this Practice Note. For guidance on the impact of coronavirus on other areas relevant to Private Client practitioners, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Private Client—overview.

What happens when the family of a deceased person are unable to register the death and make funeral arrangements due to being house-bound?

On 17 March 2020, the government published guidance about the emergency coronavirus legislation to tackle the urgent issues that arise as a result of coronavirus. One of the five key areas covered by the Coronavirus Act 2020 (CA 2020) is managing the death of a person with respect and dignity. The legislation is limited in its application to a two year period and provisions are being implemented at different stages. It includes modifications to the usual rules and regulations regarding the registration of a death and takes account of the fact that some families may be self-isolating or otherwise house-bound due to coronavirus, as well as the potential impact of the pandemic in terms of the capacity for registration and other arrangements to be made within the usual timeframe.

Following the introduction of the bill to

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