What do I do when someone dies?

Right now you could be under a lot of stress dealing with the death of someone close to you and, after talking to many bereaved clients, we have come up with a check list to help you through this process to try to help ease the burden. You will need to:

  • Obtain a medical certificate stating how that person died. If there is going to be a coroner’s inquest there may be a delay in obtaining this
  • Register the death at your nearest registrar’s office
  • Locate the will if you know there is one, or make enquiries
  • Set in motion the funeral arrangements and take into account the deceased person’s wishes
  • If they were employed when they died you will need to notify their employers

Birkett Long has one of the largest wills, probate and inheritance tax planning teams in Essex, so if you are worried about the process, talk to our expert team.

What documentation do I need to collect after someone’s death?

Our long experience tells us that there will be many forms you will need to fill in during the coming months, so before you come and see us, it will help us help you if you have the following details of the deceased:

  • A National Insurance number
  • A breakdown of their assets and liabilitiesTheir marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • Tax reference number

To make life easier for you it is possible to alert many government bodies all at once using the UK Government’s Tell Us Once web service. It is a service that allows you to report the death to a number of government departments at one time. These include:

  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • The Passport Office to cancel a passport
  • The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) if you want to cancel a driving licence
  • Your local council to cancel any benefits

And what about their home?

When you are dealing with someone’s death it can be easy to overlook the little things, especially if they lived alone, such as dental appointments or any other appointment that is in their diary. Again, we have come up with a check list to help you:

  • If your relative or friend lived alone check out that their pets, if they have any, are properly cared for
  • If they are in rented accommodation, contact the local authority, private landlord or housing association
  • Speak to the utility companies to either transfer the bill into someone else’s name or to start finalising payment
  • Speak to TV/internet companies and their mobile phone operator
  • Contact their insurance company

If you need our help, send us your contact details on line or call one of our expert team.

We can also help you with Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection issues. Our team of independent financial advisers can also talk to you about fixed-fee funeral plans.

We are one of only a handful of firms outside London that deals with the specialised area of will disputes and contested probate.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.