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What to do when a loved one dies

13 September 2017

Losing someone you love can be overwhelming, and what to do next can be a daunting prospect. Head of our Wills and Probate department, Charles Smalley, offers some initial advice on the first steps you should take if recently bereaved.

The first task will be to register the death, you will usually be given a form by the Doctor or Hospital to take to the Registrar of Births and Deaths and you will need to arrange an appointment to see them. When the death is registered you will be asked how many copies of the death certificate you require. It is wise to get a number of copies (there will be a small charge for these) as most financial institutions will want to see one.

The next task will usually be to arrange the funeral. There will be many Funeral Directors you could use and, as ever, it is wise to follow a recommendation if you do not have one that you are already familiar with. It is usual for people to include their wishes for burial or cremation in their Will and many will leave clear instructions as to their choice of funeral arrangements. Please be aware that it is now quite common for people to have a pre-paid funeral plan and it is obviously therefore very important you do carefully check whether there is such a plan in place as you do not want to be having to pay for the funeral twice over.

In relation to covering the funeral expenses whilst Banks and Building Societies will freeze accounts once they are told that the account holder has died they will allow funds to be released for settling a funeral account.

The main issue then, of course, is the question of the administration of the financial affairs of the person that has died.  This will often involve a considerable amount of paperwork, reviewing the situation to establish whether a Grant of Probate is needed and having to complete the necessary Inheritance Tax and other forms. These can seem very daunting and this are the reason why many people choose to appoint their Solicitors to act as Executors to administer their estates. Those who have appointed Poole Alcock as th

eir Executors can be safe in the knowledge that expert and friendly advice will be on hand.  Where friends or family are appointed they can hand over the responsibility for the administration to us and we can assist them in shouldering the burden.

If you are sadly faced with having to deal with the administration of someone’s estate please do contact us.  We would be very happy to speak to you completely free of charge to discuss how we may be able to assist you.

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