What you need to know in times of bereavement
I have put together a simple, straightforward guide as to what to do after death has occurred but if you are unclear about any of the following information please call me on 01675 238542 – I am here to help you.
What do I need to do straight away?
1. If someone dies at home and their death was expected:
As soon as possible you must arrange for the death to be verified. This can be done by a doctor, a nurse (who has been trained to do so) or a paramedic. Once the death has been verified we can then arrange to bring your loved one into our care. Certification of the death is done the GP. They may write out the Medical Cause of Death Certificate when they visit the house, or may request you attend the surgery to collect this certificate. This certificate should then be taken to the registrars to complete the registration of the death.
2. If someone dies at home unexpectedly:
Call the emergency services on 999 or dial 111 and ask for advice.
3. When death occurs in hospital:
When death happens in hospital the procedure is very similar, you need to apply to the hospital/bereavement office for the Medical Cause of Death Certificate and not your family doctor.
How to Register a Death – COVID restrictions mean that at present you cannot attend a registrars office in person to register a death. This should now be done online. Please refer to your local registrar for their online contact details.
Who can Register
- Close relative of deceased
- Relative in attendance during last illness
- A relative living in the district where death occurred
- A person present at death
- The person causing the disposal
- Medical cause of Death Certificate
- Medical Card if available or
- Birth Certificate and information regarding date of birth
Information required to Register
- Date and place of death
- Full name of deceased (maiden name if applicable)
- Date and place of birth
- Occupation and home address
- If married, full name and occupation of surviving spouse
Certificate for burial or cremation to be given to the Funeral Director
Certificate to be forwarded to the benefits agency
Copies of entry in register (death certificate) for bank, insurance, solicitors
How to obtain probate
What is Probate?
When someone dies somebody has to deal with their estate (the money, property and possessions left) by collecting all the money, paying any debts and distributing the estate to those entitled.
The Probate Registry issues the document which is called a GRANT OF REPRESENTATION.
There are three types of grant.
- Probate issued to one or more of the executors named in the will.
- Letters of Administration (with will) issued when there is a will, but no executor named or unable to deal with the estate
- Letters of Administration issued when the deceased has not made a will or it is not valid.
Why is this grant necessary?
Organisations holding money in the deceased’s name need to know to whom the money is to be paid. The distribution of the estate is the responsibility of the person named on the deed.
Is this grant always needed?
A grant is sometimes not needed if the deceased’s money will be released without the holder seeing a grant, when the amount held is small and there are no complications.
Consult a Solicitor
In most circumstances, it is advisable for you to consult a solicitor both to relieve you of many worries and to take control of wills, problems of intestate, outstanding debts, grants and letters of administration. A solicitor could save you a great deal of unnecessary trouble and eventually save you money. If it is known that a will is made, it is important that the contents can be ascertained as soon as possible after death as it may contain instructions regarding the funeral arrangements. A will may be among personal papers, with the bank or solicitor for safe keeping. If a solicitor has been consulted by the deceased in the recent past it is important that you contact them without delay.