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Probate Solicitors Limited - What to do if someone dies

What the next of kin should do

Collect personal information

You will need to collect personal information about the deceased as you are likely to be asked for this sooner or later.

You will need the following information:

  • National Insurance number
  • Date and place of birth
  • Date of marriage/civil partnership (if relevant)
  • Tax reference

Dealing with the death

If the deceased died in hospital they will issue an initial death certificate. If they died at home from a diagnosed illness then the GP will normally issue this. In other circumstances, such as accidents or unexpected or unexplained death, the Coroner's Office will be involved and the issue of a certificate may be delayed.

The death must then be registered with the local registrar's office. This is the office in the area where the deceased died not the area where they lived. So if the person lived in Solihull but died in a Birmingham hospital it will be Birmingham Registry but if they died at home it will be Solihull.

The Registrar will issue a green certificate to take to the undertaker and as many official copies of the death certificate as you need. These now cost £11 each (August 2019). How many you need will depend on how many people you need to send them to. Most companies send these back by return of post so you do not need too many. One however is usually not enough and in most cases we recommend obtaining at least four or five.

First things first

As soon as possible and usually within the first 5 days you should do the following:

  • Register the death
  • Use the "Tell Us Once" procedure to notify government departments
  • Arrange the funeral (taking into account any instructions in the will)
  • Place an obituary in the newspaper if desired
  • Find the Will or contact their solicitor
  • Notify the deceased's employer or pension provider
  • Notify the bank holding their current account (to stop DD and other payments)

Arranging probate:

  • If there is a Will contact the executor
  • If there is no a Will decide who will administer the estate
  • Get early advice from a solicitor on the procedures required

To decide how to go about this see our page Obtaining Probate

This is not an exhaustive list and usually your solicitor will handle all of this for you but the following are the people that may need to be made aware of the death:

Social/Personal contacts:

  • Relatives
  • Friends
  • Any clubs they were a member of
  • Church
  • Employer
  • Solicitor
  • Accountant
  • Financial adviser
  • Dentist

Local Authority and Government contacts:

All the following can be contacted using the "tell us once" service

  • Income Tax office
  • Local authority
  • Department of Work & Pensions
  • Passport service
  • DVLA

Financial contacts:

  • Banks / building societies
  • Insurance companies
  • Any hire purchase, loan or rental companies
  • Pension providers
  • Mortgage provider
  • Credit card companies
  • Anyone who owed money to the deceased
  • Anyone to whom the deceased owed money

Household and Utility contacts:

  • Gas and electric companies
  • Landlord if property is rented
  • Royal mail to re-direct post
  • TV subscription companies e.g.: SKY
  • Broadband provider
  • Any agency providing home help or care

If you would like to talk to us about administering an estate please contact us on 01564 758055

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01564 758055

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