What do I do after someone has died?
We are sometimes asked by clients what they have to do immediately after a relative dies. This page contains the most important matters a relative has to deal with first:
1. Collect the medical certificate from the doctor.
2. Take the medical certificate to the Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages, in order to register the death. It will also help to take the deceased's birth certificate with you.
3. The Registrar will give you 3 forms:
a) the full Death Certificate - which you keep
b) a green Certificate of registration of Death - for the funeral director
c) a white Certificate of Registration of Death - for the DSS
4. If the deceased person left a Will, telephone the solicitors holding the Will to see if there are any instructions in the Will regarding that person's wishes for their funeral. Please note that solicitors are not allowed to release any other information contained in the Will until they have seen the Death Certificate.
5. Contact the funeral directors and give them the green Certificate of Registration of Death. If the deceased is to be buried in a previously purchased or joint grave, it will help to take the grave deed with you.
6. With regard to the legal aspects of the estate, unless there is any urgency, you do not need to see us immediately. We suggest that you wait until after the funeral before telephoning us to arrange an appointment.
7. You will need to bring the following information with you to your appointment with us.
• Proof of identity (passport and utility bills) for anti-money laundering purposes
• The death certificate, the Will (if we do not hold it), all papers related to the financial affairs, and the deeds of any property (if we are not holding them)
• The names and addresses of the next of kin if there is no Will, or the addresses of all the people mentioned in a Will.
8. We will then be able to give you initial advice and discuss the next steps in sorting out the deceased’s financial affairs.
Where do I start with probate?
If you have been named as Executor in a Will, or where there is no Will or next of kin, then the whole process can be daunting. Newbys are able to assist by approaching matters logically and efficiently. We always try to ensure that matters are dealt with in a straightforward and simple manner. The best place to start is by contacting us for a chat. We can discuss the various issues that might arise with you and make sure that you receive the right advice.
How long will it take?
Most estates can be wound up within a year. Simple estates will take only a few months but complex estates where there are a number of properties or businesses can take a lot longer than a year. When we know more information about a particular Estate then we are able to give a much more accurate estimate as to the timescale involved. You should be aware though that assets will be frozen until probate has been taken out we can help you with any difficulties that this can cause when we meet.
What is probate?
Probate is the process under which the will of someone who has died is proved and which allows the executors to carry out the wishes of the person who has died. If there is no will then the law sets out strict rules as to who should inherit and allows certain relatives to apply for letters of administration. Newbys can help you through what can be a daunting prospect. If you have been named as executor or, where there is no will or next of kin, then the whole process can be daunting. Newbys are able to assist by approaching matters logically and efficiently. We always try to ensure that matters are dealt with in a straightforward and simple manner. The best place to start is by contacting us for a chat. We can discuss the various issues that might arise with you and make sure that you receive the right advice.
Probate issues made clear
When someone dies it is necessary to collect all the assets and the income of the estate, pay debts and then to distribute to those named in the will (or if there is no will, to the next of kin). This can be a complex and daunting prospect with executors needing to deal with banks, financial institutions and the tax authorities. Newbys' experienced solicitors can look after all matters on your behalf and ensure that the estate is administered efficiently and quickly.
How much will it cost?
Please see the pdf below on our costs transparency statement for probate services.