A step-by-step guide for England and Wales:
We also offer a free guide to what to do when someone dies and 10 things to do after a death. But do watch our video and read the notes underneath. We’re preparing a downloadable guide to what to do after a death: feel free to use our contact form to see if it is ready. Dealing with the aftermath of a loved one passing away is much easier if you are aware of the issues and can tick the jobs off one by one.
There are certain steps that need to be taken when someone dies. We hope you find this checklist helpful.
1) Notify the deceased’s family doctor straight away.
2) Should the death be unexpected, or if the deceased was not in hospital, contact the police straight away. There will normally be a coroners inquest in half of deaths, so please don’t be upset if that proves to be the case, it’s normal.
3) Register the death as soon as possible, but no longer than 5 days after death at the local Registry Office. Find details your local Registrar of Births and Deaths HERE.
4) Call in a funeral director as soon as possible. To find local independent funeral directors click here. Do make sure the deceased did not have a pre-paid funeral plan first or the benefits may be lost. The funeral can’t go ahead until the necessary death certificates have been issued.
Tasks for the days after a death:
5) Locate the Will and notify the Executor(s) if this isn’t you. Check out the executors duties HERE.
6) What to do when someone dies without a Last Will? This is known as dying “intestate” and the next of kin should contact us for advice. They need to be aware of the complications and legal issues that can occur. Call our free helpline on HERE and we’ll be happy to give you a few minutes advice at no cost. For further detail on the Rules of Intestacy click here. But just because the Will isn’t easy to find doesn’t mean it does not exist! Check out our helpful notes on lost Wills here. Finding the Will too late could be disastrous.
6) If you are the executor, or one of the executors, list the deceased’s assets (including properties, cars, bank or building society accounts, ISA’s, shares, house contents, collections, premium bonds, insurance policies etc) and liabilities (mortgages, loans, credit cards, outstanding bills.)
7) Be aware that once you start acting as an executor, you enter the realms of permanent liability for mistakes. So tread carefully, and don’t do anything at all if you are uncertain. We offer a hand holding service if you wish to take advantage of it.
8) Find detailed information. List other relevant parties such as life insurance, the Pensions and Benefits Agencies, Home Insurance (notify them if the home will be empty), gas electricity, phone, pensions, Council, HMRC etc.
9) Register on the bereavement register at www.the-bereavement-register.com to stop direct mail. – what to do when someone dies
10) Find out whether ‘Probate’ is needed. For further details on Probate, please contact us.
11) Agree who will sort out the deceased’s estate. Normally the executor or executors appointed in the Last Will (they are responsible for sorting out the legal, financial, tax and administrative work which has to be done). We can help either share or even take over the burden at a fraction of the cost of most services. Call us HERE for further information.
We can at least try to make things a little easier at a difficult time, and we hope the site will grow better with your help and suggestions.
Find out what to do if someone dies in your local area by choosing the relevant option below:
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