Are you dealing with a bereavement property? What comes to mind initially is buildings insurance, in this Quick Property Sale ‘Blog Bits’ we look at this topic further.
Losing a loved one is never easy. In addition to the emotional toll, there are a lot of practical matters that need attention as well, one of those practical matters is dealing with insurance.
A valid point to consider is that many home insurance policies become void after the property is left unoccupied for a certain amount of time. For this reason, it is also very important to advise the insurer in question to make sure that the home insurance remains valid even after your loved one has passed away, and, as soon as possible, get the policies transferred into a beneficiary’s name. If you have no buildings and contents insurance, contact an insurance company to get immediate cover.
Ensure the level of cover is appropriate
It’s also essential to make sure that the level of cover is appropriate. If the property has less in it now, you might be able to reduce the contents cover. Make sure that you work out the value of any possessions, including any items of high worth, and update the contents insurance accordingly.
If the policy was in the name of the person who has passed away, some insurers may be willing to amend the existing policy into the name of the living spouse or nominated trustee. Other insurers may insist on the cancellation of the policy and re-issuing it. This will likely require completion of a fresh proposal form and presenting a death certificate.
Empty buildings are a target for burglars
Also, check to make sure that you have arrangements in place to keep this property secure. Empty homes are a target for burglars, securing an empty property is vital, so make sure that you have peace of mind and that it’s protected from unwanted guests. Ensure that the house is safely locked with all windows closed properly, cancel any daily newspaper or milk deliveries, and regularly collect post so it doesn’t mount up or hang out of the letterbox. Consider putting lights on a timer, especially in the winter months as an empty house will become more obvious. For insurance purposes the insurance company will insist on a level of common sense security prevention to protect the property.
Paying the Utility Bills
If the building is left empty following the owner’s death it is a good idea to turn the heating on periodically so that the property remains dry, otherwise it could become damp. It’s also likely that water and electric will be used while the property is cleared and prepared to either be sold or transferred to a beneficiary. For this reason, final utility bills cannot be settled until this process is concluded.
Responsibility for paying any bills on the deceased’s property usually lies with their estate. It is not usually the responsibility of the deceased’s relatives or executor to pay any bills from their personal finances.
To end with
All of our blogs try to cover each subject in general detail to give the reader some guidance and we hope this write-up has done the trick. If you need a fast house sale please get in touch with us on the telephone numbers above.