Backhouse Solicitors Bereavement Guide – The Initial Steps

Working out what you need to do when someone dies can be overwhelming. Some things need to be carried out by the executors or administrators of the estate whilst other matters can be dealt with by family or friends.  Coming to terms with your loss and having to manage these practicalities at the same time can seem challenging, however our simple bereavement guide will help steer you through the initial steps.

  • Get a Medical Certificate

This will be issued by the hospital, Doctor or Coroner (depending upon where the deceased passed away) and will be required to register the death.  If the death was unexpected; if the deceased died within 24 hours of being admitted to hospital or if the Doctor is not able to state the cause then they will need to report the death to the Coroner. The Coroner may investigate the death and issue an interim certificate if the investigation may take some time.

  • Register the Death

You will need to contact the local registration office who will be able to make you an appointment. You should take with you details of the deceased including their national insurance number and details of their date and place of birth, occupation and marital status. It is a good idea to obtain several copies of the death certificate as most financial institutions will require sight of a copy.  You will also be asked whether you wish to use the “Tell Us Once” scheme. This bereavement service notifies the local Council, the DVLA, the Passport Office, Department of Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and any other relevant Government agent using one simple form.

  • Locate the Will and Establish the Identity of the Executor

Funeral arrangements are usually made within the first few days of the death so it is a good idea to try to locate a Will straight away. The Will may contain funeral wishes or confirmation of a pre-paid funeral plan.  If there is a Will then the Executors should be notified immediately. They have the overall responsibility for administering the Estate and they will need to take steps to “freeze” the deceased’s accounts and secure any Property. If the Will is being stored at a solicitor’s office or with a bank then they will require sight of the death certificate and identification before being able to disclose any information to the Executors, or, if there is no Will, the next of kin

  • Consider making an appointment with a Solicitor

If you are the Executor, a solicitor will provide you with detailed advice about the Will or Intestacy Rules and provide you with information about what you need to do next and your responsibilities to the Estate as well as the nominated beneficiaries.

At Backhouse Solicitors we offer a FREE, 30 minute, no obligation consultation with an expert solicitor for all Will and Intestacy matters.  We understand that this is an extremely difficult time for the relatives and friends of the deceased, and therefore we will do our utmost to sensitively explain the process and make it as straight forward as possible. Contact us using the links below to book your appointment today.

The Backhouse Solicitors Team

Tel:         01245 893400

Email:    [email protected]

Web:      www.backhouse-solicitors.co.uk