• news-banner

    Expert Insights

What to do when someone dies

The purpose of this information sheet is to provide key guidance and reassurance on what to do when someone dies. Although a few matters require urgent attention (these are listed separately), many can be reviewed after the funeral.

Urgent matters

  • Locate the Will (if there is one) and
    • check if it contains burial/cremation wishes
    • notify the executors of the death, if you are not the (sole) executor. Do all named executors wish to act?  If any wish to renounce, it is essential that they do not get involved in any aspect of the estate administration.  Ask a solicitor for guidance
  • Register the death at the local register office and obtain at least 5 certified copies of the death certificate
  • Arranging the funeral in line with any wishes expressed
  • Use the Tell Us Once Service to notify all relevant government departments
  • Advise any pension providers to prevent overpayments
  • Advise any life offices to see if and how payments under any life policies can be made.  Sometimes payments can be made without the need for a Grant
  • Advise the deceased’s bank
  • Advise any other institution if direct debits might be being paid from the deceased’s account
  • If there is an unoccupied house, advise the insurer and check security is satisfactory
  • If the deceased owned valuable personal effects, make sure these are accounted for and secure.

Other matters

  • Start gathering together all paperwork in connection with the deceased’s assets
  • If not already done so, make contact with your solicitor.  He or she can offer practical advice and support at this stage as well as setting out what steps need to be taken to obtain the grant of probate and administer the estate
  • If you are undertaking the estate administration yourself, you should open a separate executor’s bank account
  • Return passport and driving licence for cancellation
  • If there is an unoccupied house:
    • consider whether the supply of utilities such as gas/electricity, water and telephone are likely to be required.  Notify all utility providers of the death
    • request a refund of the unused TV Licence
    • if appropriate, arrange for the re-direction of post to the executors or their solicitor
  • Notify the Office of the Public Guardian of the death if the deceased made an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney
  • Consider advising any clubs, organisations or societies of which the deceased was a member.

Once these immediate practical steps have been taken, the executor(s) will need to obtain the grant of probate and administer the estate.  This can be a complex and lengthy process.  It will include: obtaining full details of all the assets in the estate; completing an inheritance tax return; paying inheritance tax; collecting in the assets; paying off any debts; and distributing the net estate.  Our probate specialists are on hand to assist with all this.

For more information please contact Charles Hutton at charles.hutton@crsblaw.com or on +44 (0)20 7427 6737.

Our thinking

  • Women in Leadership: Planning for the future

    Sarah Wigington

    Events

  • Computer says No - my prediction of UK border chaos on Wednesday 1 January 2025

    Paul McCarthy

    Quick Reads

  • Providing pro bono support on social housing issues

    Susan Field

    Insights

  • Charles Russell Speechlys Partner Promotions 2024

    Bart Peerless

    News

  • Has a new route to recovery opened up for victims of banking payment frauds?

    Katie Bewick

    Insights

  • Charles Russell Speechlys boosts its Real Estate offering with the arrival of Kim Lalli and Rafe Courage

    Kim Lalli

    News

  • Cosmopolitan quotes Sarah Jane Boon on how to deal with break-up admin

    Sarah Jane Boon

    In the Press

  • Property Patter: Building and Fire Safety Miniseries - part 1

    Michael O'Connor

    Podcasts

  • Sex discrimination at work

    Michael Powner

    Insights

  • Daniel Sullivan writes for Law360 on hundreds of 'rogue filings' being lodged via Companies House and advice for affected banks

    Daniel Sullivan

    In the Press

  • The Financial Times, The Guardian and City AM quote Sophie Dworetzsky and Dominic Lawrance on Labour’s proposed tax crackdown on non-doms

    Sophie Dworetzsky

    In the Press

  • The Lawyer covers the launch of our new Advanced Client Solutions team

    Joe Cohen

    In the Press

  • Charles Russell Speechlys expands innovation offering with creation of new Advanced Client Solutions team

    Joe Cohen

    News

  • Why Switzerland is poised to become a prime jurisdiction for families to establish their private trust companies

    Dharshi Wijetunga

    Insights

  • The Evening Standard quotes Kelvin Tanner on Skilled Worker Visa increases

    Kelvin Tanner

    In the Press

  • Property Patter: Net Zero Building Standard

    David Savage

    Podcasts

  • Charles Russell Speechlys advises Countryside Partnerships on its joint venture with Abri to develop 1,500 homes in West Sussex

    Sarah Wigington

    News

  • London’s Knowledge Clusters: From Emerging to Maturing – Start Ups on the Global Stage?

    Lynsey Inglis

    Quick Reads

  • Charles Russell Speechlys continues to bolster Banking & Finance practice with the recruitment of Philip Withey

    Philip Withey

    News

  • Charles Russell Speechlys boosts international private wealth offering with the arrival of Amira Shaker-Bortman

    Amira Shaker-Bortman

    News

  • Combatting lookalikes in the light of Thatchers v Aldi

    Mary Bagnall

    Insights

  • Mark Howard writes for the Evening Standard on the blocked Telegraph takeover, the NSI Act and the Enterprise Act 2002

    Mark Howard

    In the Press

  • Britain's most successful female Olympian has retired at 31, but how does the Family Court treat (early) retirement?

    Matt Foster

    Quick Reads

  • Fashion and the Green Claims Code brought into focus by open letter from the CMA.

    Ilona Bateson

    Quick Reads

  • How the abolition of Multiple Dwellings Relief affects Build to Rent

    William Marriott

    Quick Reads

  • Will new powers at Companies House stop or slow down fraudsters?

    Peter Carlyon

    Quick Reads

  • Charles Russell Speechlys hosts international arbitration event in Dubai

    Peter Smith

    Quick Reads

  • It’s not just a High Court decision, it’s a successful M&S High Court Decision

    Sophie Willis

    Quick Reads

  • 'Saltburn': How the Catton family could have protected the Saltburn estate and could Oliver's inheritance still be contested? (Part 2)

    Grace O'Leary

    Quick Reads

  • 'Saltburn': How the Catton family could have protected the Saltburn estate and could Oliver's inheritance still be contested? (Part 1)

    Grace O'Leary

    Quick Reads

  • The ongoing fight against fakes

    Charlotte Duly

    Quick Reads

  • Beware of not obtaining a court order when settling your finances

    Julia Mauricio

    Quick Reads

  • Planning essentials case update: when can an enforcement notice against an unlawful use also require the removal of related structures?

    Sadie Pitman

    Quick Reads

  • Vulnerable elders : a harrowing story and the lessons which need to be learnt

    Sarah Wray

    Quick Reads

  • Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill: Will new consumer protection rules restrict access to Gift Aid?

    Verity Heath

    Quick Reads

  • Home buyers and sellers hit by cyber-attack

    William Marriott

    Quick Reads

  • International Relocation: The Parent Trap 25 years on ...

    Joshua Green

    Quick Reads

  • Autumn Statement provides little comfort for farmers and landowners

    Hannah Connors

    Quick Reads

  • Top Tips to Building your Brand - Women in Chancery

    Katelyn Silver

    Quick Reads

  • What next for residential property? Autumn Statement Update

    William Marriott

    Quick Reads

Back to top