|Telephone: 0800 999 4437|
When someone dies there are many decisions and arrangements to be made and sadly, these have to be made at a time of personal distress. Some of these things can be done by a close relative or friend; others need to be done by the executor or administrator of the estate.
If someone dies at home, the family doctor should be contacted immediately. If the death was expected the doctor will give you a medical certificate showing the cause of death and explain how to get the death registered. If someone dies unexpectedly or the family doctor has not seen the person within 14 days of death, the death is reported to the coroner - the doctor or lawyer responsible for investigating unexpected deaths.
The Registrar will need the following information:
You should also take the deceased person 's NHS number, and birth and marriage/civil partnership certificates if possible. The registrar will provide the forms which enable burial or cremation, and information about any available benefits.
Probate is the legal process of settling the estate of a deceased person. If there is a will it says what will happen to the estate, and will appoint people responsible for doing this ("the executors"). If there is no will, the person is said to have died "intestate" and the estate will pass in accordance with legal rules, and will be administered by someone appointed by the court to act under letters of administration ("an administrator").
Probate involves collecting the assets of the deceased and settling any liabilities, to calculate the full value of the estate. Inheritance Tax ("IHT") will need to be paid on the amount by which the estate exceeds a certain level (the amount of the exemption changes from year to year) and arrangements for paying the tax must be paid before probate can be granted and the assets distributed.
Whoever deals with the estate will need to:
If you are instructing a solicitor to act for you in obtaining a Grant of Probate, then the more information you can provide about the deceased 's financial affairs, the quicker the process will be. Information may include:
If you or someone you know needs counselling or support after bereavement, then there are many organisations offering these services, as well as information, advice or practical support, for example, Cruse Bereavement Care.
Anyone who lived with or was dependant on someone who died may be able to claim certain benefits, for example, a reduction in Council Tax. Other benefits include bereavement allowance, widowed parent 's allowance and bereavement payment. Your local Jobcentre Plus will be able to help with these.
You may want to contact the Bereavement Register and the Deceased Preference Service to remove the deceased 's name from mailing lists and databases.
The experience of the members of our probate team can help sort out the estate of a deceased person and to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration as quickly as possible, thus causing the minimum of distress and inconvenience to the bereaved.
For information of users: This material is published for the information of clients. It provides only an overview of the regulations in force at the date of publication, and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.