The subject of probate and resolving a deceased person's estate is sometimes a little complicated and even intimidating.
That might become particularly the case when you are thinking about needing to protect their property whilst probate is underway. If the property is unoccupied, you may need empty insurance for properties from an expert policy provider, such as UKinsuranceNET.
You might also need the assistance of a solicitor in terms of some of the legal issues.
Probate verses power of attorney
To begin with, it is possibly worth taking into account the two different types of situations that may result in you having responsibility for someone else's property.
The first of those might arise in a situation where someone is too ill to look after their own financial affairs. That incapacity might be physical in the sense of a critical illness or age-related infirmity but it may also be mental in situations where perhaps age or illness has led to a deterioration of their decision-making capabilities.
In such situations, a court or agreed legal process may grant you what is called power of attorney.
Space doesn't permit a full discussion of all the variables here* but broadly speaking, once you have what is called a lasting power of attorney you will be responsible for making decisions, in certain areas, for that person.
Such rights might be granted in situations where the person concerned agrees that they will be unable to look after their own affairs in the near future or where events mean that it has become an immediate de facto reality.
By contrast, probate is typically the process whereby a deceased person's estate is administered in accordance with their last will and testament or due legal processes should they die intestate.
That might include ensuring that next of kin and beneficiaries eventually receive the inheritances and settlements they are entitled to.
The relationship to empty property insurance
In either of the above two situations, it might not be unusual for there to be property involved and for it to be sitting empty or unoccupied.
Whether that has arisen due to the hospitalisation of someone in the first case or the fact that they are deceased in the second, you may need to take steps to ensure that their estate and assets remain protected.
It is worth noting that a typical buildings and contents insurance policy will only cover unoccupied properties up to a specified number of consecutive days, typically somewhere in the region of 30 to 45.
Once those days have been exceeded, cover may lapse unless you take out something called unoccupied property insurance.
As someone who has power of attorney or a grant of probate, it may be your responsibility to ensure that this takes place. You may typically be able to meet any costs involved out of the estate under administration.