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What to do immediately after someone has died

We are sometimes asked by clients what they have to do immediately after a relative dies. This leaflet contains the most important matters a relative has to deal with first:

  1. Collect the medical certificate from the doctor.
  2. Take the medical certificate to the Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages in order to register the death. It will also help to take the deceased person’s birth certificate with you. The Registrar will give you 3 forms:
    1. the full Death Certificate – which you keep
    2. a green Certificate of registration of Death – for the funeral director
    3. a white Certificate of Registration of Death – for the DWP
  3. If the deceased person left a Will, telephone the solicitors holding the Will to see if there are any instructions in the Will regarding that person’s wishes for their funeral. Please note that solicitors are not allowed to release any other information contained in the Will until they have seen the Death Certificate.
  4. Contact the funeral directors and give them the green certificate of Registration of Death. If the deceased is to be buried in a previously purchased or joint grave, it will help to take the grave deed with you.
  5. With regard to the legal aspects of the estate, unless there is any urgency you do not need to see us immediately. We suggest that you wait until after the funeral before telephoning us to arrange an appointment.
  6. Remember to bring the Death Certificate to your appointment with us. We will then be able to give you initial advice and discuss the next steps in sorting out the deceased person’s financial affairs.

If you would like to discuss the above or require any more information please contact one of our Wills, Trusts and Mental Capacity team.

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"Thank you to Andrew for all the time, effort and informed common sense you provided. Above everything, it contributed to a significant reduction of panic attacks, hissy fits and throwing in of towels and our prospective buyer shares my relief and gratitude."

“Laura’s knowledge was excellent. She is extremely credible and took time to explain things to us in a patient and clear manner without being patronizing.”

"Clare was friendly and approachable and always returned my calls if she was not available when I phoned her - this made the procedure less stressful at a grief stricken time."

"Alison was very helpful & approachable. She was able to give us useful advice for now and the future. We would be very happy to deal with her again."

"I found Sarah Woodward very understanding and helpful. She made an emotional & difficult task for me, much easier."