elderly lady staring at her deceased husband

When a loved one passes away the last thing that will be on your mind is the prospect of having to deal with their financial affairs as well as the daunting task of having to ensure that their personal affairs are also dealt with swiftly. 

At Probaters, we appreciate that you will be grieving and may not know where to start in an unfamiliar situation such as the death of a relative or a friend. We have put a step-by-step guide to help assist you at this difficult time.

Step 1 - Depending on the circumstances surrounding the individual’s death you may need to contact some of the following:

Step 2 - What information do I need for registering a death?

When registering a death at your local registry office it is important that you take along the death certificate that was issued by the family doctor or relevant provider as this will show the cause of death. If you have access to the following documents and information then ensure you take them along as well:

You will also be required to provide information on the persons full name, their date and place of birth, the date and place of death, their usual address, their most recent occupation, whether or not they were receiving any benefits such as a state pension as well as any information on their spouse or civil partner.

Step 3 - What happens after a death has been registered?

Following your appointment at the local registry office you will be provided with the following documents:

Step 4 - Who do I need to inform about the death?

As mentioned in our previous post, it is important that relevant government organisations such as the DWP are informed to ensure that any outstanding claims on the estate are resolved prior to the estate being distributed amongst those who stand to inherit it.

In addition, the following organisations will also be required to be informed to ensure any benefits, services and documents are cancelled:

As mentioned earlier, most local authorities should provide the online Tell Us Once service. However, if they don’t then you will have to make sure that all of these organisations are contacted.

Step 5 – Will and Executors

Remember when dealing with the Will that first one you come across may not be the latest version as the deceased may have made additional amendments in the event of gifts being left to individuals who have already passed away. In the event of no Will being present, it is important that the next of kin seek legal advice as this will provide protection in the event of a Will existing and will ensure that any rules governing the distribution of assets and estates are adhered to. Having followed the steps outlined above, you should have a good understanding of the individual’s assets and any liabilities that may exist.

In the event of Probate being required then there are things to consider: