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A Practical Guide To Dealing With The Affairs Of A Deceased Person

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

In the current climate it’s a subject that no one wants to talk about, or think about, but behind every single one of the daily statistics of COVID-19 mortality is a story – someone’s relative, loved one, family or friend.

Right now, we all feel vulnerable and quite possibly a bit scared so the easy thing to do is not think about death, and not to talk about it.

That’s backed-up with facts, as findings of UK’s biggest ever survey conducted into death and bereavement revealed:

  • Almost 18 million people are uncomfortable talking about death
  • 4 million people have experienced financial hardship as a result of someone’s death
  • The average Brit first suffers a bereavement of someone close to them aged 20

Dealing with a loved one’s affairs after they die is not something most people will be familiar with, meaning that when it does happen it’s natural to have questions surrounding what happens next.

Who can deal with their affairs? What needs doing? How can it be done?

When somebody dies, everything they owned or owed forms part of their estate, and their estate will need to be dealt with and administered. This can involve dealing with the Probate Registry, HMRC, banks, estate agents and a whole host of other parties, including the beneficiaries and creditors of the estate.

The last thing you want to be worrying about is how to navigate the often complex legal process involved in administering your loved one’s estate.  A good solicitor can help to smooth the path and take some stress out of the situation for you.

Your chosen solicitor can support you as much or as little as you need – handling what’s involved and keeping you informed; or, they can act alongside you to guide you through the process, advising and assisting as and when required.

A good solicitor should be able to assist by:

  • Helping you to understand the deceased’s Will if they left one,
  • Explaining your duties and options if you are appointed as an Executor,
  • Locating and contacting beneficiaries of the estate (those that stand to benefit),
  • Contacting all the institutions that the deceased held assets with,
  • Contacting all the parties that the deceased owed money to,
  • Applying to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Representation (the legal document required to deal with certain assets & liabilities),
  • Completing and submitting all tax forms required as part of the Grant application,

Handling all the work that follows receipt of the Grant including:

  • Settling any debts and collecting in all assets,
  • Settling the tax position of the Estate,
  • Distributing funds to beneficiaries.

Speak to your solicitor. We can’t talk for other firms but as part of our service we  offer an initial meeting by telephone call to discuss what the most appropriate options are for you, and advise you on exactly what we can do to help, without obligation.

We can be, all the help you need.

George Iles

Posted:

George Iles

Trainee Solicitor

George is a Trainee Solicitor currently working with the Corporate & Commercial team.