When a person dies, their assets and liabilities pass to their estate. The executor (or the person appointed as administrator if the deceased did not have a will) is responsible for funeral and testamentary expenses, to get in all of the deceased person’s assets and to identify all of the liabilities. The extent of work required will depend on how well the executor or administrator knew the deceased.
Legal assistance is usually required for obtaining the grant of probate or letters of administration. However, once this has been attended to, the estate’s legal adviser can provide valuable assistance with identifying assets and liabilities, acting in accordance with the term’s of the deceased person’s will (or the Administration Act 1969 where there is no will), communicating with beneficiaries, advising on any disputes that might arise, ensuring compliance with tax obligations, transferring property on the distribution of the estate and providing advice regarding and potential claimants and other matters relating to the administration of the estate.