50 Part 1
The application for probate
Funeral expenses
Funeral expenses can be deducted from the value of the estate, together
with a reasonable amount for mourning expenses. Expenses can include a
reasonable amount to cover the cost of:
refreshments for mourners;
necessary expenses incurred by the executor or administrator when
arranging the funeral;
the cost of a headstone.
Finding unknown creditors or beneciaries
As we have discussed before, the personal representatives have a respon-
sibility to administer the deceaseds estate correctly and failure to do this
will mean they are personally liable if a creditor or unknown beneciary
is found to be a genuine one. When carrying out their duties, the per-
sonal representatives sometimes have the problem of not being able to
trace the named beneciaries of the deceaseds will. However, they have
a responsibility to do everything they can to trace them. There are spe-
cialist rms that can help make this possible if initial enquiries are not
The personal representatives can protect themselves from personal lia-
bility by placing an ofcial notice of the death in the local papers in
the area where the land is owned and the London Gazette (the Edinburgh
Gazette or the Belfast Gazette for deaths of Scottish residents or residents of
Northern Ireland) as a way of notifying anyone who may have a claim on
the estate. The personal representatives should then wait two months and
one day from the date of the advertisements before distributing the estate.
If there is any doubt of additional creditors, or any named beneciaries
cannot be traced, it is possible for the personal representatives to protect
themselves further against personal liability by taking out insurance and
this is wise if there are any doubts of additional creditors, unknown bene-
ciaries or untraceable beneciaries.

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