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What to do after death....

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CraigC

Registered User
Mar 21, 2003
6,631
0
London
Hi All,

I'm starting a thread here to help with the practical issues of dealing with a loss/death. I was completely losts when mum died, not just emotionally but practically.

I'm going to start off by adding a few useful documents and books that I have used to get through all the practical issues. I'm not going to go into too much detail, just point to some really useful resources. I'll add to this over the next couple of days.

It has also been my first probate to deal with and I have learnt a lot a long the way. Please add any useful resources that you know of, and as time goes on I will try to summarise it all in another closed thread and perhaps make it a sticky.

Kind Regards
Craig
 

CraigC

Registered User
Mar 21, 2003
6,631
0
London
DWP - Department for Work and Pensions - What to do after a death in England & Wales

What to do after a death in England & Wales
Ref: D49 April 2006

This is a book/leaflet you can get from any CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau). It has loads of useful information including details on the things you must do.

For example - in the first five days you must:

  • Notify the family doctor
  • Register the death at the register office
  • Contact a funer director
  • Advise the DWP
  • Complete form BD8 - this stops any benefits

Here is a link to a PDF version for the computer savey.
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/dwp/2006/d49_april06.pdf

Moderator note: this page link is now broken. A chase-through leads to
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Death/WhatToDoAfterADeath/index.htm



Hope this helps
Craig

It is very useful and has a lot of information on benefit that the bereaved may claim.
 
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CraigC

Registered User
Mar 21, 2003
6,631
0
London
Death and Probate - A Self Help Guide ot managing the procedures yourself

Death and Probate - A Self Help Guide ot managing the procedures yourself by Gordon Bowley.

ISBN:1-85703-869-X

Most libraries will have a copy. I had about four books out on the subject, but the above is the clearest and easiest to follow in my opinion. It gives simple details on arranging the funeral right through to a list of specimen forms and letters to deal with probate yourself.

I'm defintely not saying everyone should do it themselves, but solicitors are expensive and can slow down the process. It depends how complicated the estate / property is, but I was surprised how little the solicitor was actually offering to do anyway. Just my opinion without prejudice (for any solicitors after my blood).

Hope this helps
Craig
 

Tina

Registered User
May 19, 2006
420
0
The website

http://www.ifishoulddie.co.uk

provides useful and understandable information on a range of subjects, from documentation and paperwork, registering a death to burials vs cremation, memorials, arranging a funeral, different types of funerals and approximate costs, etc.

Regards, Tina
 

Mameeskye

Registered User
Aug 9, 2007
1,669
0
58
NZ
http://www.nafd.org.uk/funeral-advice/funeral-advice-home.aspx

Gives information about funeral directors.

As we are often aware that this will occur, if you do not find it too morbid (I did!), it is worthwhile chatting to people in your area about undertakers/their costs/whether plans are in place for the loved one.

What I did find helped me tremendously , after Mum's death was writing her life story for the eulogy. The minister knew Mum but this helped him greatly. It helped me to remember Mum before dementia and I think helped bring her back as "My Mum" rather than the person she had become.


Mameeskye
 

twinone

Registered User
May 19, 2008
269
0
england
Check if there any insurance policiy's.

Also ring the pension company if the person that has passed away has a private pension.

Make sure that you get a few copies of the death certificate and (marraige and birth certificates of both you and your spouse if applicable) as you need copies to send to different companies.
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
0
Birmingham Hades
We were advised to purchase pre-paid funeral plans.
It made life much easier,one telephone call,a visit to our nominated undertaker and all was settled.
There was also a geat saving on cost,the original charges much less than todays.

Norman
 

citybythesea

Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
632
0
55
coast of texas
Craig, this is great!

I would like to point out that most of you are carers and a good way to make things easier is to keep a running inventory list of all : insurance policies, checking, savings and any type of account which has funds in it. Also keep on that list any type of pensions or residuals that they may be recieving and a list of all real estate. In the US this was very helpful when the funeral home asked me how many death certificates I would need. At the time of death they are much cheaper than going back later and getting more. I also caution and advise that you get a few spares as sometimes things show up later that need a real copy.

I too am learning from this probate. My lawyer is wonderful and when I talked to im he said it would be a cake walk, after discussing moms' estate tho we both laughed and agreed that it might become a wedding cake...but still would be a cake walk.



HUGS

Nancy
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
0
NW England
Some pedantics .....

... well sorry but that's how I see them - and yes, it involves our good old banks again ...

I had never realised that the law meant that on notification of a death bank accounts are COMPLETELY frozen..... (didn't happen when dad died as they were all joint accounts with mum). This means frozen for any 'credits' due in too ....... so having notified DWP etc and private pension companies .... they cannot pay any benefits still due to mum 'in arrears' directly to her accounts which are 'frozen' but cannot be closed until probate is granted .... nor can 'refunds' due (in particular a huge chunk of NH fees) be accepted into the account unless cheques are specifically made out to 'The Late ....... Ms XXXXXX' .... and processed through the 'Estates department' .... (I thought cheques were archaic now anyway - so quite what happens about automated credits being attempted I am still wondering .....?)

Then there is the issue of an empty property .. it still needs to be 'maintained' ...... especially the buildings insurance and certain utilities ...... but even that cannot be paid out of the residue of mum's accounts ..... with one (hopefully minor) complication around probate and the housing market as it is .... who knows when 'funds' will be released to the beneficiaries of her will? In the meantime, someone (me as next of kin in this case it seems although I am not executor of the will) has to find the money to keep up essential maintenance of her estate until such time it is 'realised' and dispersed ....

Had I known this in advance I would have made some provision to meet ongoing expenses during this time my solicitor describes as being 'in limbo' - somehow responsible for managing liabilities but with no access to any assets....... no role as EPA as that ceased as soon as my mother passed, and without Letters of Administration and probate granted simply in 'no man's land' ........ and the importance of an appropriate named 'executor' in a will more paramount than I could believe .... I have no 'legal standing' at the moment - just feel I have inherited a financial headache on top of the bereavement ......

Just thought it might be worth sharing in case someone else can learn from my lack of knowledge and foresight ......:eek:

Karen, x
 

barbara h

Registered User
Feb 15, 2008
96
0
county durham
similar position

Hi Karen
My sister and I have found ourselves in a similar situation. My mam died in July and we haven't got the probate granted yet although it should be through soon. It has been delayed due to the fact that the solicitor seems to have lost the original copy of her will therefore we only had the copy which we found in her house. We have now sold her house but have taken a much lower offer than it is on the market for because the way the housing market is at the moment we were worried about the cost of maintaining it through the winter and who knows how long after that.

It is frustrating when you have to find money for maintaining the property and other bills when you cannot get access to any funds. Also as you say hard to deal with on top of everything else

love
barbara h
 

CraigC

Registered User
Mar 21, 2003
6,631
0
London
Hi Karen,

just feel I have inherited a financial headache on top of the bereavement ......

I think you have highlighted an important issue Karen. Like you I had no idea what was coming and mums bank account was frozen. I wrote to all debtors immediately and they have had to wait until probate was issued. The things I had to pay for on credit was part of the funeral and dad's care home fees for a few months - I had no access to their shared accounts once mum died. And that is another important point, if you go to see the bank who froze the account they are very likely to release a cheque to pay for the actual funeral (once you present the bill).

Going to the bank in person makes a lot of difference in my opinion.

I really would recommend the following book:

Death and Probate - A Self Help Guide ot managing the procedures yourself by Gordon Bowley.

ISBN:1-85703-869-X
Our library had a copy and it has standard letters to send to debtors and creditors. Along with loads of good advice. The book made my life a lot easier.

Seven months on and I am still dealing with probate, and my advice is to keep a file on it all as it goes on for so long. Whether a solicitor is involved or not, you need to try and keep on top of it all.

Sorry for the grief you are having, you don't need it on top of everthing else.

Take care
Craig
 

Lucy O

Registered User
Jul 4, 2005
26
0
probate with no will!

Dear all
Can anyone tell me what really happens if someone dies and there is no will? I have been told so many things by different people and can't understand the official blurb! My mother died in July- I spent the previous 9 years looking after her and have no regrets - would very happily still be doing it and wish I was, as I'm sure you all feel about the people you all looked after. Having said that, my 3 sisters were no help at all, wouldn't even make phone calls to social workers etc for me. Unfortunately, Mummy did not make a will so presumably everything will be shared between the four of us. A friend did say that I could get a solicitor to write to the probate chap and put in a 'bill' for the hours I looked after Mummy and I would get a higher proportion that way - is that true? It's not that I'm really worried re the sharing, it's just that my mother's house is my home, my sisters all have their families and their own homes, and I don't!
Another friend has also said that we should hide my mother's jewellery etc because if probate man sees it he will force us to sell it so the value can be shared - is that true?
Hoping someone can explain things to me.
Lucy
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
0
NW England
Lucy, I feel for you. I was once amongst a number of beneficiaries where some people claimed they had more 'right' to a percentage of the estate than others .... it was an uncomfortable time .....as far as I am aware assets when realised will be split equally between immediate descendants - irrespective of whether someone has contributed or not to the welfare of the deceased previously ...... (eg a sibling who emigrated at an early age has an equal right to someone who has devoted their life to caring for the deceased). However, if the main 'asset' of the estate is your own home ..... there may be laws which protect you ???? ... or you may have to 'buy out' other beneficiaries ????? ....... I've been searching all sorts of websites because of a problem with probate (in my case there is a will but still have problems!!!! ) but sorry, can't think of one which would help ... most solicitors give a free half hour advice session - perhaps that would be your best course of action to find out properly where you stand?

Hope someone might have some better ideas of how to help, love Karen, x
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
0
SW Scotland
Hi Lucy

I'm afraid you're right. If there is no will, the estate will be shared equally among you and your sisters. I think you would have to come to a private arrangement with them about the house.

I believe that if the four of you can agree to divide the jewellery, that would be OK, but don't take my word for it. Otherwise yes, it would have to be sold.

I think you can claim for expenses you incurred in caring for your mum, but I don't think you can claim a 'wage' -- but again, check it out.

You really do need to see a solicitor about this.

All the best,
 

Lynne

Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
3,433
0
Suffolk,England
Hi Lucy

I am currently dealing with my own Mum's will, which is very simple & says her estate should be divided equally between me & my brother. Our situation is complicated by the fact that he (& kids & grandkids) live in Australia, and I have nowhere to live other than Mum's house. Things are amicable between us, and the solution would seem to lie in a 'Deed of Variation' whereby we can officially agree to vary the terms of Mum's will between us. (Has to be done within 2 years of the death of the will-maker.) According to what I've read (on the Net) so far, people with mega-money use this for the avoidance of Inheritance Tax, but we're not in that league!

Whilst we haven't finalised everything yet, it would seem that I shall pay to my brother a nominal 'rent' for the use of his half of Mum's bungalow, as well as undertaking to look after any necessary repairs & maintenance. As I have no family of my own to leave anything to, I shall probably agree to leave my half to him in my will so that he can easily sell it (or whatever) if I die first. However, I realise that most people have more complicated family relationships than ours.
 

sue38

Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
10,849
0
54
Wigan, Lancs
Probate with no will

Hi Lucy, I am assuming you are in England or Wales?

If there is no will you don't apply for Probate, but for Letters of Administration. It is pretty much the same procedure.

If your mother had no surviving spouse her estate will be divided equally betwen you and your 3 sisters. I am assuming here that you have no siblings that have died leaving children.

There is no law that says because you have contributed more to looking after your mum that you should receive a greater part of the estate.

However, there is an act (Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975) which basically allows certain people including children the right to make an application for greater provision from the estate if they were dependent on the person who has died. If you were living in your mum's house (and were therefore dependent on her) it may be that you would be able to make a successful application.

You need professional advice on this and quickly. You must file the application at the court within 6 months of the date of the grant of the Letters of Administration/Probate.

You will also need to see an independent solicitor, i.e. not the one dealing with your mum's estate. Legal Aid is available for this type of application if you have a good case and qualify financially.

Hope this helps.
 
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Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
0
NW England
Another little tip

.. be prepared for the most crass insensitvity you can ever imagine ... right from the Registrar who did her best impression of Little Britain's 'Computer says no' ... I have been dumbstruck at some people's inability to grasp the sensitivity of dealing with these matters ...... (others wonderful of course) ..... 'We need to know how you are going to settle the year's outstanding premium - what do you mean you haven't got probate yet?' ..... was not highest on my list of priorities ... nor was 'What is your relationship to the account holder?' and having to stutter she is ... sorry WAS .. my mother ....:(

Best award for insensitivity goes to a national power supplier who had me on hold for the best part of half an hour waiting to get through to their probate section .... during which time I had to listen to various 'jingles' including 'we will make your next move smoother' - well when the next move is to the Pearly Gates I wonder how they can substantiate that claim? Gggrrrrrr .........:mad:

I know Craig intended this thread as a practical source of support - but if my last 48 hours are anything to go by ... just wanted to warn others to steel themselves emotionally with battling foreign call centres, unsympathertic and inefficient organisations - one of whom even called into to question that I had been registered EPA when it has been noted and acknowledged nearly two years ago!!!!!

Scary times, when you are not at your best to deal with it!!!!!

Karen, x
 
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