Burton probate and Will solicitors, Else address the questions surrounding what to do when someone dies.
It is always a difficult time when someone close to you dies. Particularly, if you then take a role in helping to make arrangements or deal with their estate.
We have created a simple checklist to help you with the initial steps that need to be taken after somebody dies. Some of these things can be done by a family member or a friend. Others will need to be done by the executor(s) or administrator(s) of the estate.
Please remember this is not an exhaustive list, and not all items will apply in every case.
Will Solicitors Tip 1#: Registering The Death
Contact the GP or hospital about obtaining a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. OR, contact the Coroner’s office to find out when you may be able to register the death.
Make an appointment with the Registrar of Births and Deaths to formally register the death. They will be able to tell you what information you need to do this.
The Registrar will also help you notify all the Department for Work and Pensions departments, using the ‘Tell Us Once’ forms. You will need the deceased’s National Insurance number for this.
We would however recommend that you also telephone any appropriate state pensions or benefits offices to notify them of the death. This will help to avoid any inadvertent overpayments, which may then need to be repaid.
Will Solicitors Tip 2#: Arranging The Funeral
Contact a funeral director to discuss the arrangements. You will need the green form provided by the Registrar to do this.
We would advise that you check the terms of the Will incase the deceased left any specific wishes or details of a pre-paid plan.
Will Solicitors Tip 3#: Who You Need To Inform About A Death
Tell family members and friends.
Employer or educational establishments.
Health professionals. You will also need to cancel any outstanding hospital, dental or other health-related appointments.
Agencies providing care or support services such as social services, home care providers, day centres etc.
Check whether there are any outstanding bills which may need to be paid. The executor or administrator of the estate will deal with these.
Banks/building societies/National Savings.
Private pension providers.
Credit card/store card providers.
Any other financial institutions where the deceased held assets or investments, including the Share Registrars for any shares held. This is to ensure that all sole accounts are frozen to prevent fraud.
Property & Utilities
House insurance provider. The terms of the cover may need to be updated if the property will now be left unoccupied.
If the deceased lived in rented accommodation, the housing association, local authority or private landlord.
Utility companies (eg gas, electricity, water, phone, TV/internet).
Pensions Service, DWP or JobCentre Plus to cancel any benefits due. These should all be notified through the ‘Tell Us Once’ scheme. However, it is advisable to contact them separately as well if you have any concerns.
Inland Revenue – Income tax, Child Benefit payments, Tax Credits.
Local government offices. These may include electoral roll, housing benefit, council tax, bus pass.
DVLA and insurance company if the deceased owned a car or driving licence.
Arrange redirection of post if necessary and reduce the burden of unwanted mail by registering with the Bereavement Register. Details of how to register may be provided with the death certificates.
Clubs / membership organisations / social groups.
If the deceased held a firearms licence, you will need to contact the local Police Station.
Will Solicitors Tip 4#: Dealing With The Estate
Find out if the deceased made a Will and where it is located. It may be at home or with the deceased’s solicitor.
If you cannot find a Will or you believe the one you have found is not the latest version then please contact us and we can advise you on the next steps.
If you are not the executor you will need to contact them and inform them of the death if they do not already know. The executors are the people who will have the authority to deal with the deceased’s estate.
If you are the executor, gather together all paperwork relating to the deceased’s financial affairs and property ownership.
The executor or administrator will need to decide how to go about the probate process and whether to appoint a professional to assist. For more information on the options available please contact our expert wills solicitors.
If you have any queries about what to so when someone dies contact our Wills and probate solicitors, in Burton on Trent, on 01283 526200. Alternatively, you can send us a message and we will get in touch at a time that suits you.