Q&As

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—What options are available to a personal representative who is house-bound in terms of applying for probate and administering the estate?

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Published on LexisPSL on 19/03/2020

The following Wills & Probate Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)—What options are available to a personal representative 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
  • Online applications
  • Administering the estate

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—What options are available to a personal representative who is house-bound in terms of applying for probate and administering the estate?

The practical implications of being house-bound for a personal representative (PR) will largely depend on the types of assets in the estate and what stage the administration has reached.

Immediate steps following a death

The immediate steps following a death are difficult in any circumstances but where the deceased’s family are house-bound due to coronavirus (COVID-19), there are additional complications, not least trying to obtain the medical certificate of death, registering the death with the registrar and arranging the funeral. Special measures to cover these scenarios, including expanding the list of people able to register a death, are contained in the Coronavirus Bill. See What the Coronavirus Bill will do and Coronavirus Bill — Managing the deceased, as well as LNB News 20/03/2020 58.

See also Q&A: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—What happens when the family of a deceased person are unable to register the death and make funeral arrangements due to being house-bound?

For a non-family member PR who is house-bound, their immediate concerns will be to secure and safeguard the estate assets and to locate the deceased’s Will. Ordinarily this would entail visiting the deceased’s property, but where the PR is unable to do so due to their own illness or self-isolation due to coronavirus, they may be

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