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Losing a loved one is never easy, and leaves so many arrangements to make that knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. Whilst we know it will be a difficult time, the following guide should help you prioritise the steps you need to take. Our experienced solicitors are more than happy to assist with individual steps, or can handle the entire process from start to finish should you prefer. If you would like to discuss any of this in more detail then please feel free to contact our offices and we would be glad to help.

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What to do when someone dies

1) Obtain a Medical Certificate

You will first need a Medical Certificate, signed by a Doctor, listing the cause of death. If your loved one passed away in a hospital, the staff there will take care of this for you. If the death occurred at home, you will need to contact the family doctor at the local GP surgery.

If the death was unexpected, then it may need referring to a coroner for them to investigate further. This could potentially lead to the coroner calling for a post-mortem, or inquest in order to find out the cause of death, which may cause a delay in obtaining the certificate. If you have any concerns about this, please do not hesitate to contact us.

2) Locate the Will

The most important document to locate will be your loved one’s Will. If a Will was written then it must be found. If you are unsure about where the Will may be, try contacting their Solicitor or Bank, as it is common for Wills to be stored with them. If you cannot find the Will, you can always conduct a search of the National Wills Registry with Certainty

The Will should list the Executors who will be responsible for administering the estate.

If no Will was prepared, then the person is said to have passed away ‘intestate’ and the Law will determine who is responsible for administrating the estate, as well as how any assets and monies are divided. We would be more than happy to advise you on this if required.

3) Register the Death

You will need to register the death within five days, at the Register Office closest to where your loved one passed away. When you attend the office, you will need to take the medical certificate and, if possible, any identification documents for the person that you have access to; such as a passport, driving licence, birth certificate, etc.

The Registrar will then provide you with a Death Certificate (we would advise that you also purchase one or two extra copies just in case, as most of the organisations you will be dealing with going forward will not accept photocopies), along with a Burial/Cremation slip known as a ‘Green Form’. You can use this slip to begin arranging the funeral, as it will be required by the Funeral Director.

If it is available in your area, the Registrar will also speak to you about the Government’s ‘Tell Us Once’ service, which will notify all the various Government services of the death. 

4) Arrange the Funeral

With the Green Form supplied by the Registrar, you can now organise the Funeral. Make sure to check the Will, as it may contain wishes for the funeral, along with details of any potential pre-paid funeral plans.

Funeral Directors are regulated, and will supply you a breakdown of their costs upon request. The Local Council may also offer their own funeral service should you prefer.

5) Collect any other Paperwork you can find

One you have located the Will, try and find as many other pieces of paperwork you can find. There will be many different organisations to notify of the death, all of which will have various account names and references attached to them, so the more documentation you have available the easier this will be. Try to locate as much paperwork as you can, relating to things such as:

  • Social services, particularly if they had nursing care or home help
  • Local council for council tax and any parking permits for street or disabled parking. It may also be worth registering on the Bereavement Register so you will not receive any junk mail.
  • DVLA to return their license and register a change of ownership on the vehicle
  • Insurance companies, for both life insurance as well as house & contents insurance
  • Bank and Mortgage provider(s)
  • Utility companies; electricity, gas, water, telephone & internet
  • Royal Mail if a redirect is necessary
  • All loans, credit card and store card companies
  • TV licensing
  • Membership of clubs and associations
  • UK Passport Agency
  • Pension providers

Katie Woodward was very helpful and gave a good service, thanks a lot.

Mrs B, Mansfield

I can recommend this service. Katie Woodward was personable, efficient and professional. She was particularly knowledgeable and thorough. Her diligence and flexibility was brilliant for my needs. Thanks very much.

Mr E, Chesterfield

From the minute you walk into reception you are put at ease, and this continues right through the chain. Would recommend them any time.

Mr G, Chesterfield

I can’t thank Banner Jones enough for the kindness and patience, and would highly recommend this firm.

Mrs S, Chesterfield

Kathryn provided us with a first class service at our time of need. Can not thank her enough for helping us through a difficult time in such a kind and professional manner.

Mrs E, Deepcar

The service provided was excellent and all the staff were friendly, helpful

Mrs L, Chesterfield

Excellent company. Highly satisfied.

Mrs H, Ashgate

Thank you, Amy; for all your help and kindness. Best wishes

Mrs P, Chesterfield

Exceptional service; professional but friendly. Felt at ease and relaxed when given explanation of the matter being dealt with at a very sad time.

Mrs L, New Tupton

Me and my family would recommend Banner Jones to anyone for their kindness and sympathy to all of my family. Thank you very much once again.

Mr M, Brampton

The solicitor was most helpful in every way, explicit in detail and very caring.

Mrs R, Coal Aston

Excellent service from start to finish at a very difficult time.

Ms D, Danesmoor

The receptionist staff on both days we visited your office were extremely friendly and the whole experience of dealing with Banner Jones was wonderful

T Howard

Very friendly experience with clear and uncomplicated explanations, giving us confidence in the professional service.

Mr & Mrs L, Grindleford

The service I received couldn't have been better!

Mrs C, Chesterfield

We were very happy with the service we received, we would definitely recommend.

Mr & Mrs W, Shuttlewood

We found Banner Jones to be very friendly. They directed us through all the necessary channels. And were extremely helpful, putting my husband and myself at ease at such a sad, stressful time. A big thank you.

Mr & Mrs T, Stretton

Thank you for everything you did to help us through a difficult time.

Mr M, Mansfield

Thank you for your excellent service, prompt attention and being kept up to date.

Mrs P, Old Whittington

For ourselves – we do not think that you could have improved any part of the service. All dealings with our advisor were very satisfactory. Thank you. We would not hesitate to contact Banner Jones if needed.

Mr & Mrs D, Wingerworth

The efficiency and respect with which my late husband’s Will was administered could not have been better. Many thanks.

Mrs W, Warsop

Excellent, professional and supportive communication throughout. Thank you very much, Kat.

Mrs B, Shirland

Very efficient service at a difficult time which helped matters go smoothly

Mrs S, Dronfield

Very efficient, friendly and professional. We would definitely recommend to friends and family. They made the whole experience problem free.

Mrs W, Mansfield

We’re really grateful for the work you did for us. 10 out of 10!

Mr & Mrs S, Bridlington

Very easy to make appointments, very personal service from all people at Banner Jones, my solicitor was very friendly and put me at ease. If I needed a solicitor again, Banner Jones would be the first on my list.

Mr C, Dronfield

Brilliant service, kept well informed all the way through the process. Would definitely recommend.

Miss H, Nottinghamshire

Cannot fault the service, efficient, prompt and cautious. Matters explained very well and clearly. Pleasantly surprised.

Mr & Mrs D, Mansfield

Service provided was excellent. All the staff were very helpful, considerate and professional. I would highly recommend to friends and family.

Mr W, Nottinghamshire

Kat, the solicitor who assisted in arranging for the deputyship for my mother was extremely helpful in what I call distressing time where control of my mothers affairs have been passed onto me. Many thanks Kat for the pleasantness.

Mrs H, Chesterfield

Very clear communication, all of my questions were answered and nothing was rushed.

Mr & Mrs F, Chesterfield

Banner Jonesprovided me with a very professional and friendly service in difficult, personal circumstances and I cannot reccomend them enough. 10/10.

Mr T, Chesterfield

Excellent, efficient service, Katie was very pleasant and polite. We were made to feel at ease.

Mr Mrs C, Dronfield

Natalie was very professional and friendly. Good listener, very caring. Thank you Natalie.

Mrs M, Mansfield

Fantastic service from Katie. I was made to feel very comfortable with talking about my affairs, very professional.

Mrs P, Chesterfield

All my dealings have been with Sarah who has always been professional, knowledgeable and extremely helpful. I would recommend Banner Jones.

Mr P, Derbyshire

Excellent, professional service.

Mrs M, Mansfield

Very good and friendly reception staff; excellent professioanl service; good comunication and timely attention to my work undertaken.

Mrs F, Chesterfield

Outstanding service. So very helpful, knowledgeable and easy to understand. A pleasant member of your team!

Mrs K, Sheffield

We recieved a promt, helpful and most efficient service. I wouldn't hesitate to ever use Banner Jones Solicitors again.

Amy was excellent - Thank you so much for all your advice.

Ms E, Chesterfield

I would just like to pass on my comments with regards to the first class service we received with the estate of my dear late mother.

We have been dealing with Banner Jones and I would like to say they have been excellent throughout. We have found them to be extremely efficient, helpful, understanding and friendly at this difficult time.

Also very accommodating with appointments as I work full time.

I would also comment she was very patient in dealing with my elderly father who struggles with severe hearing difficulty.

I have no hesitation in using your services again, we will shortly be making appointments to update the will for my father and in due course I will also be updating my own will with Banner Jones as all of our family affairs are with your company.

I will have no hesitation in recommending Banner Jones Solicitors to others, once again, thank you to you all.

Ms Carpenter

Banner Jones & Kat Wheeldon's help has got me through this last year. Their help and kindness was without doubt invaluable.

Mrs W, Chesterfield

Kathryn Wheeldon has provided me with an excellent service and I would recommend her to all of my friends and family. 

Mrs R, Chesterfield

Excellent service! Becasue of illnesses, my new will from start to signing took half a day!

Mrs B, Nottingham

Excellent service! Thank you for all fo your help and making everything stress free for me. Will definitley recomment you.

Mr B & Mrs M, Chesterfield

Excellent Service from Banner Jones. Thank you.

Mr & Mrs L

Very helpful and understanding. Thank you.

Mrs B, Chesterfield

Very happy with all aspects of my treatment at Banner Jones. Thank you very much Katie.

Mrs A, Chesterfield

Excellent. Katie was very pleasant and helpful.

Mr & Mrs B, Chesterfield

Very thorough, professional and friendly service, thank you.

Mrs K, Chesterfield

Friendly, and vey helpfull staff.

Mr & Mrs J, Mansfield

Excellent, friendly service, my Will was updated very quickly for me, which I really appreciate.

Mrs P, Chesterfield

Natalie at Banner Jones helped us update our Wills. She was very thorough whilst being sensitive to our situation She made it an easy, simple process. We recieved our Wills quickly and completed the matter within 3 weeks!

Mr & Mrs F, Chesterfield

Excellent service from start to finish! Prompt, trustworthy, reliable and extremely helpful. Highly recommended!

Many thanks to Katie Woodward for her wonderful assistance.

Mr & Mrs C, Chesterfield

Very pleased with the service recieved. Natalie was a very pleasant and efficient person to deal with. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend your services. Thank you.

Mrs B, Chesterfield

Excellent service, all matters were dealt with in a very professional way.

Mr M & Dr R, Sheffield

We used Kat Wheeldon at Banner Jones for our Wills and Powers of Attorney. We always had a friendly but professional service. Details were explained clearly so that we understood exactly what was involved and required. Fees weere explained straight away. We shall return to Banner Jones for any further legal work.

Mr & Mrs Diprose

I have recieved help and advice from Katie Woodward, she is kind, considerate and professional. I would be pleased to recommend her to friends, family and colleagues. Many thanks.

Ms A, Chesterfield

I have been with this solicitors since the 60's and I have always been happy with this company. I was very happy with seeing Amy about my Will, she was very helpful.

Miss W, Mansfield

Banner Jones staff have always been professional and kind throughout my dealings with them. They have been very considerate towards my elderly Uncle, and met his needs - Whether his physical or mental impairments - Making adjustments to their practice with no hesitation at all.

Mr P, Chesterfield

Thank you so much for your excellent service in helping me making a Will.

Mrs B, Mansfield

We were very happy with the service provided.

Mr & Mrs W, Dronfield

Thank you all for your kindness and support in a very sad time in my life, you have helped so much.

Mrs W, Chesterfield

On behalf of Darren and myself I would like to thank you both for all your help and assistance in this matter.

Excellent and efficient throughout and handled with a professional and sensitive approach.

Mr T & Mr D

Thank you for last weeks meeting which we both found very informative, friendly and helpful. You were able to reassure us and put our minds at rest about the number of issues. Thank you once again.

Mr & Mrs B, Derbyshire

Because we are in our 90's and only essentially amending our Wills, Amy was very patient and extremely sensitive to our situation. She explained the issues involved in a manner whcih was very easy to understand. She gave us a great deal on confidence and we were extremely happy with the outcome.

Mr & Mrs W, Mansfield

All staff (off all levels) were very friendly & helpful. Tea/ coffees were made available at the outset and not as an afterthought. I can see no reason at all to not use Banner Jones again for any other aspects of my affairs! Thank you!

Mr M, Chesterfield

As far as I am concerned, Kat Wheeldon's service at Banner Jones is excellent.

Mrs W, Chesterfield

Thanks again for all your help wrapping up Dad’s estate  it has been such a simple process for us, plenty of compassion and empathy. I am glad the effort put in by us helped with your hard work

Mr D

Additional Questions during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Banner Jones have been appointed as the professional executors in the Will. Are you still able to act during the current circumstances?

Dealing with an estate is a complicated, time consuming, and difficult process, so it is common for people to appoint a solicitor as their professional executor, to reduce the burden on family and friends. As a long-standing law firm in the area, we have been appointed professional executors by many people over the years.

Please be assured that, whilst our offices are currently closed, our teams are all still working remotely and are fully able to continue in their roles of administrating the estate. The work involved in administering an estate is carried out by communications through e-mail, phone and post, all of which we still have usual access to. We are working with local contacts to ensure we are still able to deal with funeral and property arrangements, and are liaising with Government bodies to make sure we can still obtain Death Certificates and Grants of Probate.

For more information on our Full Estate Administration service click here.

How do I register a death?

We have been in touch with our local Registry Office who have confirmed that because they are classed as key workers, they will continue to remain open to register deaths.  This will allow us to then progress your matter as normal.

We are however anticipating delays with the turnaround at the probate registry as things progress, but we will keep you updated as we know more.

 

I’d prefer to meet someone in person, is that possible during the Coronavirus measures?

We are making every effort to ensure that all work can be carried out remotely through phone calls, video conferencing, e-mail, etc, meaning you are not required to attend our offices as part of the process. That being said, we do understand that some clients may prefer a face-to-face meeting.

Whilst we are not currently in a position to meet clients in person, the process of administering an estate is quite complicated and can take several weeks to complete. Whilst we may have to speak to you remotely during the early stages of the process, we hope that the current restrictions may start to be lifted by the time we reach the later parts of your matter.

As soon as it safe for us to do so, we would then be more than happy to meet with you to talk about any matters you may prefer to discuss in person. In the meantime, we can still work on your matter and speak to you remotely, but hope to be able to see you in person soon.

My relative has made a Will with Banner Jones and they have passed away during the Coronavirus pandemic. What do I do?

Whilst our offices are currently closed, please be rest assured that our Wills & Probate team are still working remotely from home as per Government guidelines. Any Wills, Deeds, or other documents that we may hold for your relative are also still accessible from our secure, off-site storage facility. Please contact us on 01246 560560 or by e-mail at Wills@bannerjones.co.uk  and a member of the team will be able to talk you through the next steps.

My relative has passed away and the executors named in the Will all live in different locations across the country. How do we all make contact with Banner Jones during the lockdown?

When a relative passes away, there will be a number of matters to discuss, and usually a large amount of paperwork and documentation to work through. Given the current circumstances, the logistics of getting everyone together to review and discuss everything can be quite challenging. Whilst our team are not currently able to meet you in person we are now arranging video appointments, through apps like Skype, Zoom and Facetime, where we can still speak to you from the comfort of your own home. These programs also allow for multiple people to be a part of the same video meeting, meaning that all executors can join-in, no matter where they might be in the country.

When it comes to documentation, our offices are closed to clients but we do still have a small team who are handling incoming post and ensuring it is passed on to the appropriate person. This means we are still able to take receipt of any documentation you send to us through the mail as usual. If you are worried about having to collect paperwork from the deceased’s home, we are also able to have your relative’s mail re-directed to ourselves, where we can take receipt and deal with everything for you.

Useful Links

If you have any queries about any of the processes involved in administering the estate of someone who has passed away, please feel free to contact our offices and one of our specialist team will be happy to help.

If you know someone who has passed away, and feel that their wishes are not being carried out, or that their estate is being administered improperly, then our Dispute Resolution team may be able to help you further.

Alternatively, the following resources may prove useful in answering any queries you may have:

- Cruse Bereavement Care

- Age UK 

- Certainty, the National Wills Register

- Gov.UK’s ‘Tell Us Once’ Service

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