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Losing a Loved one, what do you need to do when someone dies…

Date Added 22.06.22

Losing a loved one is something that we will all experience at some time during our life and, at what is an emotional time, it can be very difficult to consider what needs to be done in order to deal with the deceased’s estate. This article will advise you of the practical actions that need to be taken.

Unfortunately, until the death has been registered there is nothing that you can formerly do in respect of the deceased’s estate. This is because all organisations will require a copy of the death certificate to confirm the death.

Did the deceased leave a Will?

If the deceased left a Will then this will appoint Executors who have the authority to deal with the estate administration.

If the deceased died Intestate (without having left a valid Will) then the Intestacy rules determine who has the authority to deal with the administration. A member of the Tollers Trusts and Estates team will be able to assist with confirming who can deal with the estate depending on the deceased’s family situation.

Register the Death

Following someone’s death you will need to arrange for the death to be registered with the local Registrar. The GP who confirms the death will need to provide the Registrar with the cause of death information and once this is received an appointment can be made by you to register the death. This can be arranged online or by phoning the office locally to where the death occurred. You will need to provide the registrar with the full name of the deceased, date of birth, date of death, full address, occupation, marital status and the full name of any spouse or civil partner (deceased or surviving).

The number of death certificates required will depend on the number of deceased’s assets but each organisation will return the original to you so there is no need to buy an excessive amount. Please also bear in mind that if you instruct a solicitor to deal with the estate administration then they will be able to provide Death Verification forms of the original death certificate instead (if required).

Deceased’s property

The most important action in respect of the deceased’s property is to ensure that the property insurance company is advised of the death and that confirmation is provided as to whether the property is no longer occupied. Most insurance companies will carry on insuring the property but this may be for a limited time or limited risks or they will increase the premium to cover the additional risk if the property is empty.

It is advisable to remove any items of value as soon as possible after the death i.e; jewellery, cash, valuable artwork, antiques etc.

If the new owner remains living in the property then it would be advisable to either transfer the policy to them or make arrangements for a new policy to be entered into in their name.

Arrange the Funeral

You will need to instruct a Funeral Director to deal with the funeral arrangements, in the event that a pre-paid arrangement is not in place. If the deceased had a pre-paid funeral plan then this may refer to a specific funeral director who should be contacted.

If the deceased has made a Will then they may have included wishes in respect of their funeral and so this will need to be taken into consideration when arranging the funeral.

The funeral director will require a ‘green form’ from the registrars before they take any action as this is the authority for them to act. You will, however, be able to make an appointment to meet with the funeral director in order to discuss the arrangements. Consider clothing, venue, flowers and reception.

Tollers Trusts and Estates Team

Our friendly and approachable team will be happy to help with any questions that you may have regarding the process of dealing with an administration of an estate after losing a loved one. We will be able to support you, provide advice and assist you with the administration process from ascertaining the date of death value of the estate, making an application for the Grant of Probate, cashing in the assets and making the final distribution to the legal beneficiaries.

If you have a question…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558 our experienced and empathetic Trusts and Estates team is here to provide you with the best information to help you make the decsions that are required.

More information can be found here.

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