Council Tax - What to do when someone dies

This page provides information about who to contact and what to do when someone dies in respect of your Council Tax, as well as council tax discounts and exemptions that may be applicable.

Notifying the council tax office when someone has died will not be one of the most pressing details to be addressed with the many other arrangements that have to be made.  However, as soon as possible, a friend, relative or solicitor of the deceased should notify the council tax office about the death of an occupant of the property.  If the deceased was in receipt of either Housing Benefit or Local Council Tax Benefit please also contact the Benefit section.

This guide contains basic information about council tax.  If you require more comprehensive information please contact us.

We hope that this guide helps to take some of the stress out of providing all the necessary information as quickly as possible.

You can contact us by:-

  • Completing a Notification of Bereavement form.
  • Calling the council tax helpline on 01785 619279
  • Writing to: Council Tax Section, Revenues & Benefits, PO Box 7129, Cannock, WS12 9HA
  • Visiting our offices at Civic Centre, Riverside, Stafford, ST16 3AQ

The following information will be required:-

  • The deceased persons name and the date of death
  • The address of the property they lived in.
  • Whether a single person discount is now required.

If the deceased person was the council tax payer, we will also require the following information:-

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

It is important that the executor(s) keep the council informed of:-

  • The date probate is granted
  • Details of the transfer of the property or the end date of the tenancy if the property is rented.
  • The date the furniture was removed from the property.

If you are supplying information only a short time after a person’s death, you may only be able to give their name, address and date of death.  Further information can be supplied once it is available.  Please remember to include your name, address and telephone number on all communications.

During this time however, the council may contact the executors periodically to review entitlement to the exemption applied

Frequently asked questions

The deceased person lived on their own - how does this affect the council tax on the property?

When a person lived on their own and that person dies, there may be no council tax to pay as long as the property is empty until it is occupied again, or probate is granted.

If the property remains unoccupied following a grant of probate, a further period of up to six months exemption may be awarded providing the property remains empty and has not been sold or transferred to someone else.

This exemption will also apply where a tenant has died if their personal representative remains liable for rent after the date of death.

How is the council tax affected when there were two adults living in the property?

When a property was previously occupied by two adults, the council tax bill might have been in both names or in the name of only one of the occupants.

If only one person continues to occupy the property, the council tax bill will be put into their name and a single person discount will be applied, giving a 25% discount. 

What if more than two adults are living at the property?

If more than two adults previously occupied the property and one person dies, it is important that the council tax bill is in the names of the remaining occupants.  Please contact us with this information as soon as possible.

Will the executors (personal representatives) be liable for council tax?

When probate has been granted, a document is issued to the executor providing them with the authority to deal with the estate.  If after probate is granted ownership of the property is transferred to a beneficiary of the will, the council tax liability will be passed on to them.

If the property remains under the control of the estate for more than six months, after the date of probate, the Executor will be responsible for making payment of any council tax due.

Please note that the executor is not personally liable for the council tax bill and any payment should be made from the deceased estate.

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