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What to do when somebody passes away

View profile for Rachelle Nuttall
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Can I do probate myself?

It is understandably a very emotional time when someone sadly passes away and you may feel like you have a million and one things to do. The first and most important thing to know is that there is no rush with any matters, you must take your time and allow friends and family members to assist you.

The most important matter to attend to initially is to register the death, in England and Wales the death must be registered within five days of the date of death, this will allow you to receive the death certificate and several copies for use. You are able to arrange the funeral without the death certificate but you must have the death certificate to allow the funeral to go ahead. When arranging the funeral, you should check the Will to ascertain if the deceased included any wishes in their Will in respect of their funeral. 

You should then inform the Tell Us Once service which notifies several government bodies of the death which will stop any overpayments of pensions and benefits and allow you to later deal with income tax matters. 

It is important to ascertain who the executors to the estate are, this will be detailed in the Will and they will be responsible for dealing with the administration of the estate. If the deceased did not leave a Will, then you will need to determine who is entitled to apply for the letters of administration, this will follow the rules of intestacy. You can apply for the grant personally however, it is important to understand the role you are taking on and your obligations under that role. 

Appointing a solicitor to deal with the administration of the estate on your behalf will ensure that the estate is fully administered and no issues will arise at a later date and you will be reassured that the deceased’s wishes are fulfilled. Stephensons Solicitors LLP offer several options to assist you in the administration of the estate to allow you to decide how involved you wish to be. 

If you would like to discuss how we can assist you, please call us on 0161 696 6238 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our Wills and probate team will contact you to discuss your requirements.