What to do if you have a bereavement…

With tens of thousands having sadly passed away due to the coronavirus. Loved ones are left resolving the administration of the estate. Probate is long winded and timescales are usually dependent on HMRC and the Probate Registry.

Given Lockdown there are delays across the whole administration process. These include: registering deaths, getting information from clients, getting information back from banks, valuations of houses and much more.

Further, people do not understand what they need to do. So we have helped put a short guide together…

Registering the death

When someone dies, in England and Wales, the death must be registered at the local Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths within five days. If there is a need to involve a coroner then registration of the death can be delayed.

You receive a death certificate, it is best that you ask for multiple certified copies of the death certificate at the Registrars.

Secure the home and car

You must secure their house immediately. Contact the buildings and content insurance company to inform them of the death and arrange alternative cover. Remember to ask whether they would like the water, heating and electric supply to be left on as part of the updated policy.

If they owned a car then the policy becomes invalid on death and therefore you should look to arrange further protection.

Do they have a Will?

If the deceased has made a Will then it should state who inherits. Without one, they have died intestate and their estate is distributed according to the rules set by law.

If you need advice on who inherits then get in touch with our probate team.

Instructing our Probate Team

Once you have ascertained whether there is a Will or not, then the executors (named in a Will) or administrators (if there is no Will), can instruct us. We arrange an appointment to discuss the deceased’s estate and outline the next steps.

The term probate simply refers to the process of gaining the legal right to deal with the deceased’s estate. That person, either an executor under a Will or an administrator without a Will, is responsible for sorting out the deceased’s affairs.

We arrange an initial meeting and organise a fact-find to establish your need.

How we can help you

Our team do the following:

  • Take you through the legal meaning of the deceased’s Will or Intestacy;
  • Apply for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration;
    • Complete the Probate Application
    • Complete the Inheritance Tax forms
    • Send to the Probate Registry
    • Help you swear an oath that the accounts are accurate
  • Write letters to close accounts, such as banks and utilities companies;
  • Collect the estate amount;
  • Pay any debts outstanding, such as mortgages, loans and credit cards;
  • Claim any insurance policies taken out by the deceased;
  • Make final valuation of the estate less of taxes and debts;
  • Establish any Will Trusts setup in the Will through relevant appointments; and
  • Distribute the assets to the beneficiaries.

Get in touch

Complete the below form to find out more…

    You can call our office on 0207 242 1666 or email us.