Step-by-step guide of what to do when someone dies

Knowing what to do when someone has died can be an emotional and daunting task. To help you, we have put together a simple list.

Locate the original Will, if there is one

You may need to look in the person’s property to see if they have the Will, or any paperwork relating to it, at home. A Will may also be stored at a solicitor’s office or a bank.

Register the death

An Executor or family member can register the death. You should do this as soon as possible (within 5 days) by making an appointment at a Register Office.

Arrange the funeral

You may already know the funeral wishes, or these could be included in the Will. You should make an appointment with a funeral director, to make the necessary arrangements.

Collect details of estate assets and liabilities

You will need to find details of all the estate assets and liabilities, including any the person held in their own name or in joint names with someone else. You may find this information by looking at their statements and other personal documentation.

You must obtain a valuation of each asset or liability, as at the date of death. If you can prepare a list of the assets (such as bank accounts, insurance policies, shareholdings, property) and liabilities (such as loans, credit cards, mortgages, utility bills) we can obtain the valuations for you.

Collect details of income

You will need to find details of any income the person had received, such as money from employment, rent, share dividends, bank account interest, and pension payments.

The person may have employed an accountant to assist them with their income tax affairs, in which case you can ask them to help you deal with HM Revenue & Customs requirements.  Alternatively, if you can prepare a list of the income, we can contact HM Revenue & Customs for you.

Complete the administration of the estate

This is a complex process, made up of various tasks. For example, you may need to complete an Inheritance Tax Return, swear an Oath on application to the Probate Registry, obtain a Grant of Probate, close bank accounts, sell or transfer ownership of property and shares, report any Income Tax or Capital Gains, pay money to the estate beneficiaries, and draw up an Estate Account.

Contact a member of our team, who will help you every step of the way.

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