What to do when someone dies

Table of Contents

What to do when someone dies

8 steps to take following someone’s death

When someone close to you dies, it can be difficult working out what to do and in what order. The process can be broken into eight stages:

Getting a medical certificate – this is required to register the death. If the person died in hospital, a Doctor will issue the certificate. If the death occurred at home, a GP should undertake the task.

Registering the death – a relative, hospital representative, or the person arranging the funeral can do this at a register office local to where the deceased died.

What to do when a Coroner is involved – when a death is reported to a Coroner, investigations must be completed before papers are issued. A Coroner may issue an interim death certificate if an inquest is held. The funeral should not be booked until this is complete, but ceremony planning can commence.

Dealing with the Will – if a Will was left, the funeral should be planned in accordance with any wishes detailed. It’s best to conduct a Will search to check if there is a Will, as this will affect how the estate is administered.

Locating important papers – other documents to search for include pension paperwork, insurance policies, and financial institution account details.

Arranging the funeral – arrangements can be handed over to a professional Funeral Director, who will be able to offer guidance.

Probate – whilst this is not always required, it may be necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate before proceeding with estate administration.

Estate administration – the process of dealing with a person’s legal/tax affairs, assets, property, liabilities, and distributing inheritance.

If you need guidance on dealing with a bereavement, please contact us.