Machins Solicitors LLP
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What to do when someone has died

Posted: 24th September 2015   In: Wills, Trusts and Probate

Unless we have been through it before, most of us don’t know what we are supposed to do from a legal point of view when someone close to us has died. Our Private Client department can assist you to make sure you are doing the right thing by the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate and that you are complying with HMRC.

Initial Steps

1. Register the death

The person arranging the funeral, the Executor/s or someone present at the death are all examples of people entitled to register the death. You will need to make an appointment at your local registry office and you will need to take the doctors medical certificate with you as well as basic information about the deceased. You can purchase as many copies of the death certificate as you want at the appointment. We recommend that you obtain several.

2. Arrange the funeral

After you have registered the death you will be given a form to pass on to your chosen funeral directors. You should make an appointment with the funeral directors to discuss your requirements and to set a date for the funeral service.

3. Locate the original will

If you believe the deceased made a will, then a physical search of the paperwork held by the deceased may reveal a copy, or the original. If a copy is found, it will often contain a clue where the original might be found, such as the name of the firm of solicitors who drafted it. If a will is not found, it is worth contacting the local solicitors and will writers to see if they are holding a will for the deceased. It is possible to pay for a national search and in this respect the following link may be useful. https://www.nationalwillregister.co.uk/aboutwillsearch.aspx

4. Seek legal advice

We suggest that at this stage you seek legal advice as the following issues will need to be addressed;

If you are an Executor or Personal Representative you will be responsible for;

We can give you peace of mind by advising you on what steps you should be taking and assisting you in taking them.  Please contact Josie Birnie about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of making a will.