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When a friend or family member passes away it is a very difficult and upsetting time. The loss of a loved one can be particularly overwhelming if you also have to deal with all the paperwork and administration of the death alongside your grieving.

   

To reduce the stress during this time it is a good idea to be as organised as possible. Ensuring that you do everything within the given timescales will help stop the list of tasks mounting up and causing you additional pressure.

   

Our Probate Department at Lamb Brooks Solicitors in Basingstoke are supportive and compassionate, working with you every step of the way to administer estates efficiently allowing you time to spend with your family.

   

Here are some of the initial steps you need to take if you are responsible for the probate of someone who has died:

   
  • The death should be registered within 5 days of the date they passed away. You can do this at the registry office and can usually be done by a family member or someone who was present at the death. They will need some additional information such as the time and place of the death and some personal information.
   
  • Once the death is registered you will be issued with a certified copy of the death certificate. It is a good idea to ask for several copies of these as they will be needed to deal with the estate.

  • It is very important to check that any property owned by the person who has passed away is secured and that the insurance companies are notified of the death otherwise the policy may become invalid.
   
  • Locating the Will – if you are the executor then hopefully you were made aware of where important documents including the will were stored. If you are unsure try their local solicitor firms who often store them free of charge. If there is no luck a solicitor can help trace a will by searching a national will register. If someone has passed away without making a will, your solicitor will be able to explain what will happen with their estate.
   
  • When it comes to planning a funeral some people make a note of their wishes in their will, so it is worth checking this first.
 

After the funeral there will other administration tasks to carry out, but at this point it is important to have dealt with the main and urgent points above and allow yourself time to grieve.

   

Appointing a probate solicitor to deal with the administration of the estate will take the pressure off your shoulders and you can trust that affairs will be dealt with accurately. The solicitor will need a copy of the death certificate and any information that you can find about the deceased’s finances.

   

Going through bereavement is a distressing time, but you can have some peace of mind that our Private Client department at Lamb Brooks have a wealth of experience in this area of law and approach matters with a compassionate and understanding attitude.

   

If you have lost a loved one and need some assistance dealing with their estate, please get in touch today on 01256 844888 or contact Sue Squires (sue.squires@lambbrooks.com) or Elizabeth Groom (elizabeth.groom@lambbrooks.com) directly.

     

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.