In short, your next of kin and your executor(s) are in charge when you die. If you have no will or no close relatives there can sometimes be complications.
Next of kin
For anyone over 18, your next of kin will be your married spouse and/or your closest blood relatives. If you are under 18, then your parents or legal guardians will automatically take charge of your affairs should you die.
If you don’t have much contact with your closest relatives, you might choose to nominate someone else to be your next of kin; such as your unmarried partner or a close friend. You need to inform your relatives and others people, such as doctors, lawyers and banks etc.., of these arrangements and carry details of your next of kin with you.
Your next of kin is responsible for:
- Registering your death.
- Informing relatives, friends and other interested parties that you have died.
- Organising the funeral.
Your executor is responsible for administering the will. This involves gathering your assets, paying any bills and distributing any surplus. Some people choose to appoint a solicitor as an executor but this is not mandatory. Remember that if you do appoint a solicitor or a bank as an executor there will be a fee to pay.
Anyone over 18 can be appointed an executor, and they can subsequently choose to employ a solicitor to assist with the administration of the will if they feel it will help.
You can appoint up to 4 executors and it’s good practice to identify a minimum of 2 just in case one of them dies or is unable to carry out the task. Your named executor(s) should be people who are most likely to outlive you and are trustworthy to deal with your affairs competently.
In the case where you do not make a will your next of kin will need to sort our your affairs.
Who’s in charge when I die
Your next of kin and your executor(s) are in charge when you die. If you have no will or no close relatives there can sometimes be complications.
Should I make a will
By making a Will you will ensure that your assets, no matter how small, are distributed in line with your wishes.
Making a Will
A will sets out how your estate (your assets) should be distributed, and names an executor(s) to take care of this task. A will is only valid if your signature has been witnessed by 2 adults who are not beneficiaries of the will in anyway.