What to do when someone dies

Dealing with the loss of someone you love is a difficult and emotional time.

Most people are unsure as to what formalities need to be taken care of especially with regard to dealing with an Estate. We Solicitors offer advice and assistance in a way that is tailored to your specific needs.

The immediate matters

  • It is important that you register the death at the local Registry office as soon as possible. A death certificate will be issued and you should obtain several copies.
  • Appoint a funeral director to begin funeral arrangements
  • Locate the Will and notify the Executor(s)
  • The Executor will then assist in notifying the relevant organisations, freezing accounts, cancelling subscriptions, direct debits, returning passports and/or driving licence. This is not an exhaustive list.
  • The Executor may need to apply for Probate.

What is Probate?

The term probate means the issuing of a legal document called a Grant of Probate or a Grant of  Letters of Administration authorising a person to deal with the estate (the money, property and possessions) of a person who has died.

Why is a Grant needed?

A grant is proof that the person named in it is entitled to collect in the assets of the deceased and distribute them. Some organisations will not release monies until they have seen the grant. The property of someone who has died cannot be sold or transferred unless a grant is obtained.

It is always best to ask the person holding the deceased money whether or not they will release the money to you without seeing the grant.

How is Probate obtained?

The application forms are available from the local Probate Registry. These need to be completed with the relevant tax forms IHT205 or IHT400 and sent to the Registry office with the original Will, Death Certificate and a fee.