What to Do When Someone Dies

What to Do When Someone Dies

While the passing of a loved one isn’t something any of us want to think about, it’s a situation most of us will face at some point in our lives. However, being prepared and knowing what to do in the event of someone’s death can make the process a little easier. Here are some of the main tasks that need to be carried out after someone dies.

Collect the medical certificate

You will need to have a medical certificate in order to register the person’s death. This can be obtained from the hospital if the death occurred there, or their GP if the person passed away at home or in a residential facility.

Register the death

A death must be registered with the Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages within 5 days at the office of registration nearest to where the person lived or the hospital in which they died. Fines may be imposed if you fail to register a death within this time. If you are having problems getting a medical certificate or registering a death within the time limit, you need to inform the registrar who may be able to extend the deadline. (For more information, read the government guidance on registering a death.)

Find the person’s will

While it might not always be practical to do this before arranging the funeral (or even possible if they never made a Will), if you can find the Will, all the better, as it may contain funeral instructions.

Arrange the funeral

The person may have stipulated who they wish to conduct their funeral in their Will, or you may need to instruct a Funeral Director of your choosing. How the funeral costs are paid will depend on whether the person had a funeral plan in place or if there is enough in the estate to cover the costs. If not, the responsibility for paying funeral costs may fall to the person arranging it. You can find out more about the financial help available for paying for a funeral here.

Get your paperwork together

Once the person has been laid to rest, their estate will need to be sorted out. To do this efficiently, you will need to collect as much paperwork and information as possible. That includes things like birth, marriage and death certificates, their National Insurance number, financial accounts, utility bills, pension information, house deeds, tax information and so on. The more information you can gather, the smoother the Probate and Estate Administration process is likely to be.

Apply for Probate

An appropriate person must apply for Probate in order to have the legal authority to manage and distribute someone’s estate. It may not be necessary in the case of a small estate under the value of £5000. If the estate does require Probate, there are two options:

  • Where the deceased left a will with named Executors, the Executors can apply to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Probate
  • Where there are no named Executors or no will at all, the primary beneficiary can apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration

Collectively, Grants of Probate and Grants of Letters of Administration are known as Grants of Representation and give the Executor or Administrator authority to handle the necessary legal and financial affairs.

Estate Administration

Once the legal authority to carry out Estate Administration has been conferred to the appropriate person, the process of settling the estate can begin. A small, uncomplicated estate may be settled in a matter of months. Larger or complicated estates may take a year or more. There are lots of legal and financial matters to square away during this process, so if the person handling the affairs is inexperienced, it’s a good idea to get professional guidance.

How Laurelo Probate specialists can help

At Laurelo, we’re experts in handling Probate and Estate Administration. We understand how difficult it can be to deal with all the paperwork after a loved one passes, especially when you’re still grieving. That’s why we’re here to give you the advice and practical assistance you need. With a Personal Estate Managers on your side, you can rest assured your loved one’s affairs are in safe hands.

Whether you require help with a Probate application, want to appoint a Professional Executor or need experts who can take the responsibility of full Estate Administration off your shoulders, we’ve got it covered. Talk to us today about how we can help on 0203 058 2329.

This article is intended to provide information only and does not constitute legal advice. We do not accept any responsibility for any omission or loss as a result of this article.




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Patrick and Phillipa Vickery (Executor)

"When you lose a parent it’s an emotionally challenging time. Finding people to genuinely help with the mountain of subsequent issues is not easy. We dealt with Laurelo who took care of our Probate. Communicative and easy to talk to, Laurelo took away a bunch of stress and handled a complex estate excellently. I have no doubt that his experience has saved my family a significant tax burden."

C Hardman (Executor)

"Well informed, helpful and efficient throughout the whole probate journey. I was particularly impressed by the speed of response when I had questions"

V Garner (Executor)

"Thank you for dealing with the probate so efficiently. I would not hesitate to recommend your services in the future."

J Jackson (Executor)

"It has been my absolute pleasure to have met Michael and for him to act on my behalf, a wonderful, professional,  caring person whose services I would recommend to anyone."

Peter Nash/Paula Cranmer (Executors)

"I would recommend Laurelo to anyone who needs good and sensible advice about the probate process at a very reasonable price."

A Wilson (Executor)

"I wouldn't hesitate in recommending Laurelo in what, at the outset felt like a daunting task, but in reality once explained to us and the burden of completing the forms taken away and completed by a professional the process was seamless."

Lorri Turner Senior Manager (Herongate Wood)

“I have always found Michael at Laurelo to be engaging, honest and supportive of the customers needs. The offer of a home visit to see clients within their own familiar surroundings further supports this. I have no difficulty in recommending their services."

G Perrett Will Protect Ltd & Executor

“Michael's professionalism and knowledge of every aspect of probate is only matched by his sensitivity and patience. He instinctively knows what to say and when to say it and I am so grateful to him for helping me navigate the most difficult period of my life so far safe in the knowledge that I could simply "park" this part of the process and leave it with him to "sort out"."

K Whittle (Executor)

“They provided a professional and emphatic approach and took all the stress away from dealing with probate. Filing the forms very promptly and the whole process was dealt with in just over a month. I would highly recommend and I again thank them for their help."

Mr. A Browne (Executor)

The pricing point is good and in line with a few others, we found however for the service we received I do not think we could have put a price on it.

We would wholeheartedly recommend Michael and his team."

John F Smith (Executor)

“I was most satisfied with the service he provided, and his gentle and considerate manner was most comforting at a difficult time in my life."

Robert Evans (Executor)

“I just wanted to express my sincere thanks to Michael for the way in which he managed the probate arrangements at what was a very difficult time for myself and the family. Whilst always professional and efficient he was very sensitive and supportive - explaining things clearly and making the whole process (which was totally new to us) that much more straightforward. It took a load off our minds and he progressed things really quickly Thank you"

Here at Laurelo, we're committed to our clients and their path to probate

Here at Laurelo, we're committed to our clients and their path to probate