What to do when someone dies
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.
What to do when someone dies in Chesterfield, Sheffield, Dronfield and Mansfield
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.
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.
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
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:
- Age UK
Want to know more?
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. 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.
Banner Jones have been appointed as the professional executors in the Will. Are you still able to act during the current circumstances?
How do I register a death?
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.
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.
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
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
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
Excellent, efficient service, Katie was very pleasant and polite. We were made to feel at ease.Mr Mrs C, Dronfield
Fantastic service from Katie. I was made to feel very comfortable with talking about my affairs, very professional.Mrs P, 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
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
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
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
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
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