What to do when someone dies

It is understandable that notifying the Council Tax team when someone has died will take second place to the many other arrangements that have to be made.

However, as soon as possible, a relative, friend or solicitor of the deceased should inform us about the death of an occupant of a property.

You can email us at council.tax@swdevon.gov.uk


What information do we need when someone dies?

We will need to know:

  • The name of the deceased persons and the date they died;
  • The address where they lived
  • Whether a Single Person Discount is now required.

If the deceased was a Council Tax payer we will also need the following information:

  • The names and addresses of any executors to the will of the deceased person;
  • The name and address of an appointed solicitor if you wish the council to deal direct with a solicitor.

What if I am unable to provide all of this information?

Please don't worry if you can't provide all of the information. If you are providing this information only a short time after a person's death you may only be in a position to give their name and address. Further information can always be provided once it is known.


How will Council Tax be affected by the death of an adult occupant?

When a property had been occupied by a single person, who either owned or rented the property, and that person dies, the property is exempt from council tax payment for as long as it remains unoccupied, and until probate is granted.

Following a grant of probate, a further six months exemption is possible as long as the property remains unoccupied and has not been sold or transferred to someone else.

It is important that the executor(s) keep the Council Tax team informed of:

  • the date probate is granted,
  • details of the transfer or sale of the property or the end date of the tenancy,
  • when the estate is settled.

During this time we may need to contact the executor(s) periodically to review entitlement to the exemption.

Six months from the date probate is granted, the full Council Tax will be due to be paid by the executor(s) of the estate.

When a property was previously occupied by two adults the Council Tax charge might have been in both names or only in the name of one of the occupants.

Providing only one person continues to live in the property we will transfer the council tax name solely into their name and grant a 25% single person discount.

More than two adults living in a property

If a property was occupied by more than two adults, and one person dies, we will transfer the council tax into the names of the remaining owner/occupiers or joint tenants.


Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS)

If you have been claiming CTRS as a couple, it may mean that you will need to make a claim in your own right. Please use this link to make a new claim

If you have not previously claimed as a couple, you may wish to consider applying based on your current circumstances. Please review the table below to see if you may be eligible for some support:

CTR level

Single income band (weekly £)

Couples income band (weekly £)

Family with one child (weekly £)

Family + (weekly £)

Band 1 - 85%

0.00 - 75.00

0.00 - 115.00

0.00 - 200.00

0.00 - 335.00

Band 2 - 80%

75.01 -110.00

115.01 - 150.00

200.01 - 235.00 

335.01 - 370.00

Band 3 - 50%

110.01 - 160.00

150.01 - 200.00

235.01 - 285.00

370.01 - 420.00

Band 4 - 25%

160.01 - 205.00

200.01 - 245.00

285.01 - 330.00

420.01 - 465.00


Council Tax Liability for Executors

Executors are the people appointed in the will to deal with the estate of a person who has died.

When probate is granted a document is issued to the executor providing them with the authority to deal with the estate.

If, after probate is granted, the ownership of a property is transferred to a beneficiary of the will, any liability for Council Tax passes to the beneficiary.

If for any reason after probate has been granted the property remains under the control of the estate for more than six months, a full Council Tax charge is due. The executor is responsible for making payment of the Council Tax.

The executor is not personally liable for Council Tax charges, and payment should be made from the deceased estate.

If the executor cannot make payment for any reason they should contact the council immediately.

This is a general guide to Council Tax and is not a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations.