What Should I Do When Someone Dies?

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Bik-ki Wong - Head of Private Client

3 minutes reading time

When someone dies, it is difficult, and you may be unsure what to do first.

Immediately after someone passes away, it is usually the responsibility of the family and friends of the deceased to deal with practical matters. A probate solicitor can also help with these. The initial practical steps are as follows:

1. Check that the deceased's property and possessions are safe – if the deceased lived in their private home, not a residential or nursing home, you must attend to the property to take security precautions. 

2Confirm the cause of death – you must call a doctor to receive a signed medical certificate confirming the cause of death if the deceased died at home. The doctor would automatically issue a medical certificate if the death occurred in a hospital. 

3. Arrange the funeral – you should contact a funeral director as soon as possible after death. 

4. Register the death – this should usually occur within five days of death at the registered office closest to where the person died. The registrar will issue an official copy death certificate and a green form (a certificate for burial or cremation to give to the funeral director). 

5. Find the will – to determine what the deceased would like to happen in the event of their death and to see who is appointed executors under the will.

If there is no will, you should contact a solicitor for advice on what to do when a person dies without leaving a will.

6. Contact a solicitor – it is possible to deal with the deceased's estate personally; however, this may increase the risk of problems arising due to the large amounts of work and complex tax calculations, depending on the estate's value. Therefore, you may need to instruct a solicitor.

What should I do when someone dies?

Contact our Wills, Trusts and Probate team

Our Wills, Trusts and Probate team have specialist knowledge and experience in this area. If a loved one has passed and you would like our assistance, please e-mail lawyers@myerson.co.uk or call us:

0161 941 4000 

Bik-ki Wong's profile picture

Bik-ki Wong

Head of Private Client

Bik-ki has over 18 years of experience acting as a Wills, Trusts, and Probate solicitor. Bik-ki is an expert in dealing with high net-worth individuals as well as those who have more complicated circumstances or those with mental capacity issues.

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