When someone has died, there are lots of things that need to be done, at a time when you least feel like doing them. Here's our guide of who to inform after a death has occurred.
The list below looks daunting, particularly for close members of the deceased’s family. However, by choosing a good funeral director and solicitor, you will get the appropriate advice and assistance.
Take your time with the funeral arrangements and make sure you get to say farewell in the way your family needs rather than how someone says it should be done.
The list below also shows the benefit of planning for the inevitable before the death occurs… it is not easy, but planning ahead helps the loved ones of the deceased deal with these issues at a stressful time. They will appreciate the thought and planning put in ahead of the death. At the very least, a Will should be written and the funeral arrangements planned.
- Register the death with the registrar of births, deaths and marriages at the council area in which the person has died;
- Tell the deceased person’s bank and building societies. The accounts are then frozen, except that the funeral bill can be paid from the deceased’s account;
- Tell the home and contents insurance company or they may refuse to pay any claim after the date of death;
- When you register the death, ask if the Tell Us Once service is available in your region. Through this service most govenrment departments and local council services can be informed of the passing. This service can save you untold stress and upset. Among those subscribed to the Tell Us Once initiative are DWP, DVLA, HMRC and Passport Office.
- Organise the funeral by selecting the most appropriate funeral director. Ensure you know the funeral wishes of the deceased person which ideally should be something that was discussed and recorded with close family members or the executor;
- Find the Will – the family solicitor should hold the original copy. The executor should also have a copy or know details of the solicitor who holds the original;
- If you decide to use a solicitor to deal with probate, contact the one who is holding the Will. However, you don’t need to use that firm. Get a second quote, and only instruct the solicitor you feel comfortable with;
- You will almost certainly need to get probate to enable the affairs of the deceased person to be settled and the terms of the Will to be carried out. If the deceased had no Will, you will need to get letters of Administration. This is the court document that allows the assets to be transferred to the executors/administrators (the people who have the job of managing the person’s estate), who eventually transfer them to the beneficiaries. A Family Law solicitor will advise on this. You can save money by doing some of this work yourself. Ask your solicitor about different options. The legal process takes time. A good solicitor will explain the process to you, and deal with everything quickly and efficiently.