What do I do when someone dies?
The loss of a friend or loved one can be a very stressful time with many people needing to be notified in the first few days. In addition to the immediate tasks you need to attend to, such as arranging the funeral, there is a lot of paperwork to be dealt with and official documents which need to be completed over the next few weeks.
How we can help you?
One of the duties you may have to undertake is applying for Probate. This can often be a complex and extremely time consuming process and needs attending to at a time when you may not feel able to perform this task. If so, please contact us. We are consultants to Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation Limited who are experts in dealing with all aspects of Probate. Their specialist Probate Team have a sympathetic and patient approach when dealing with bereaved relatives and will happily arrange a visit to discuss your requirements in the comfort of your own home.
Unlike Solicitors and many other Legal companies who often charge an hourly rate, Countrywide provide a Fixed Fee Probate Service which is quoted in advance of any work being undertaken. This could be a considerable saving on the fees you would typically need to pay a high street Bank or Solicitor.
Once you have agreed to use their Probate service, you will be appointed your own Case Handler who will personally, look after your case and who will be your point of contact throughout the Probate process.
As part of their Probate Service, their team can also offer you independent advice on the Will itself and may, under certain circumstances, recommend that a Deed of Variation be set up in order to vary the Will. This process would effectively ensure that the beneficiaries of the Will receive as much of their inheritance as possible, without having to pay out large chunks of it to the Inland Revenue in taxes.
This process must be executed within two years of death and needs to be with the agreement of all the beneficiaries.
Who do you notify first?
In the first five days it is important that you do the following:
• Notify the deceased’s family Doctor.
• Contact a Funeral Director to commence funeral arrangements. You will also need to check any Will for any special requests or prepaid Funeral
arrangements which may have already been made.
• Register the death at The Registry Office.
• Advise any departments who may have been making payments to the deceased, such as Tax Credits, benefits, pensions etc.
As soon as possible you should:
• Contact the Executors of any Will to enable them to start the process of obtaining Probate.
• If there is no Will the you should decide who will apply to sort out the deceased’s affairs and apply for Letters of Administration.