What to do when someone dies – A practical guide

Although bereavement can be an upsetting and emotional experience, there are of course, a
number of practical issues that need to be dealt with at this time.

With this in mind we have compiled a basic guide to some of the practical steps you will
need to take:

  • Register the death
  • Contact a Funeral Director to start the funeral planning arrangements
  • Inform solicitors
  • Secure the deceased’s house (if vacant) and remove valuables
  • Leave heating on or drain pipes if winter time
  • Inform the insurance company, request that they leave cover in place
  • Inform the Department for Work& Pensions and any private pension/ annuity providers, banks, Inland Revenue, utility providers. (If you are instructing a solicitor they will do all this for you)
  • Gather together all bank statements and other financial information
  • Find the Will, if there is one
  • If you are the Executor named in the Will, speak to your solicitor who will guide you through the responsibilities of your role and confirm the matters that need to be dealt with.
  • If you are the Executor and intend to deal with the estate yourself, you will need to deal with matters including:
    • Obtain valuations of all assets in the deceased’s sole name and in joint names with any other party
    • Obtain the relevant forms from the Probate Registry to apply for a Grant of Probate (or if there is no will)
    • Pay any inheritance tax due
    • Obtain Grant, gather in assets, pay all outstanding accounts, complete final tax returns, finalise matters with the Department for Work & Pensions and distribute estate
  • Please remember than an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney cannot be used after the person who made it has died.