What do you do when a loved one dies?

February 19th 2024

Dealing with the death of a family member is overwhelming, and the emotional aspect can be devastating. These steps can help you to progress as straightforwardly as possible.

  1. Register the death

Make an appointment to register the death with the local registrar. They provide details of the ‘Tell us once’ service, which notifies all Government departments of the death.

  1. Locate the Will and Make Funeral Arrangements

The Will informs you of the named executors, who deal with the administration of the estate. It may also provide details of your loved ones’ funeral requests.

If there is no Will, intestacy rules will apply, and the closest family members will deal with the administration. 

  1. Valuation of the Estate.

The next step is obtaining valuations of assets and liabilities, as you must report the estate’s value when submitting the Grant of Probate application or Letters of Administration.

Consider placing a Section 27 Notice in the London Gazette and local newspaper announcing your loved ones’ death. This provides potential creditors with two months to make a claim for any money owed, after which period the executor is longer liable.

  1. Probate / Letters of Administration

In many situations the executors/administrators will need to apply for a Grant. An experienced Probate Solicitor will help guide you through this process, especially for estates which are high value, involve Trusts, or those with any uncertainty surrounding the Will.

  1. Administering the Estate

Once a Grant is obtained, assets can be sold and transferred. Before doing so, ensure that inheritance tax is paid and debts are settled.

For inheritance disputes, it is advisable not to distribute the estate until six months after the date of the Grant. 

At SE-Solicitors, we are proven legal specialists who see you and your needs clearly. Contact Private Client Solicitor Kristina Dunne at kdunne@se-solicitors.co.uk or call 01869 252761 to guide you through the process.