Losing a loved is one of the most difficult of times, with the maelstrom of emotions you are going through, it can be difficult to get the practical things done. So here we’ve put together a checklist of five things to consider at this time and some additional sources of information that may be of help to you:
Certificates and registration
One of the first things you’ll need to do when a loved one dies is to obtain a medical certificate from a GP or hospital doctor. You’ll need this certificate to register the death, which in itself needs to be done within five days (or eight days in Scotland). It will also be helpful to take the following with you when you go to register the death: their birth certificate, NHS medical card or number and their marriage or civil partnership certificate.
It may be that you’ll need additional copies of the death certificate so that you can make claims to pensions and savings etc., as photocopies do not usually suffice. The government website has some helpful information relating to the steps you need to take at this time and also offers a “tell us once” service to ease the process (ask the registrar if this service is available in your area and ask for a reference number so that you can utilise the service).
It may be your loved one left wishes relating to organ donation or bequeathing their body to medical science, so ensure these wishes are met. If this is not the case, then consider the funeral arrangements. If your loved one hasn’t made their wishes known, then consider what the person would have wished for, what you can reasonably do, what you can afford and what will help you and your close family the most. Talk to your chosen funeral home about the arrangements and enlist the help of friends and family. If your loved one wasn’t religious and you’re not sure what form the funeral should take, then enlist the help of the British Humanist Society.
Financing a funeral
Funerals can be expensive, but there are a number of ways to finance them, from insurance policies to pre-paid funeral plans and the deceased’s estate. If you are claiming Pension Credit, you may be eligible for help from the social fund.
Paperwork and administration
When a loved one dies, there is a ream of paperwork and administration tasks that need to be completed. You’ll need to inform the tax office, bank, insurance company, mortgage provider, social services, utility companies and more. In addition, you should return the deceased’s passport and driving licence to the relevant authorities. AgeUK has a checklist you can work your way through to ensure everything necessary is taken care of.
Selling an inherited property
If you are going through probate and have a house to sell; then consider a “quick sale” company to ease the sales process. Though you’ll be made an offer below the market value, it could be that the ease of having a swift sale is what you need. If you are selling a property that you have inherited, consider an experienced firm such as Probate Purchasers, who purchase homes directly from executors, meaning you’ll have a hassle-free sale that cuts out the ‘middleman’ and helps you make savings on some of the associated costs. Most of all, they’ll help the whole process go swiftly and conveniently.
When someone dies there is a lot to deal with, but we hope you’ll now know what the next steps to take are; and where you can find more information and additional help.