July 3, 2020

Documents to Find & People To Notify When Someone Dies

This post was written by: Jade Gani

When someone passes away it can be extremely overwhelming to know where to start when dealing with their affairs. After registering the death, a good place to start is to locate any important documents and notifying various agencies. 

Documents to Find:

As difficult as it might be, in order to start dealing with your loved ones affairs, someone will need to go through their personal papers to ascertain what assets and liabilities they had. If you are not up to doing this yourself, you could ask a family member, friend or even a solicitor to do it for you. 

You should keep an eye out for details of any of the following:-

  • Banks & Building Societies
  • Premium Bonds
  • Investment Portfolios
  • Original Marriage Certificates
  • Passports & Driving Licenses
  • Stocks & Shares (Original Certificates)
  • PAYE or DWP information
  • Evidence of any Trusts
  • Original Wills & Codicils
  • Gifts made in the past 7 years
  • Car ownership documents
  • Credit cards & reward cards
  • Digital assets
  • Security box information
  • Utilities, bills & subscriptions
  • Mortgages & Loans
  • Pension & Life Policies
  • Lasting Power of Attorneys
  • Business assets & accounts
  • Foreign assets (and Will)

You (or your solicitor) will need this information in order to close down and drawn in any accounts in the Estate. If you are unsure whether an asset is still valid then you should contact the provider to find out. It is especially important to ascertain the date of death value of the Estate if you are required to obtain the Grant of Probate.

Notifying People:

When you register the death, it is advisable to use the “Tell Us Once Service” as this notifies all government agencies of the death. You should also send a copy of the Death Certificate to any assets and liabilities you identified when you went through their personal papers, so that they may freeze accounts.

If you were acting under a Power of Attorney for the Deceased, then this has now come to an end and you should notify the Office of the Public Guardian about the death. You can call them on 0300 456 0300 or email them at: customerservices@publicguardian.gov.uk or write to them: PO Box 16185, Birmingham, B2 2WH

During your search through their papers, you may have found evidence of the Deceased’s assets and liabilities. You should notify all these organisation. Do not worry if you did not find any evidence though, as there are companies online who can help search for assets for a small fee. 

You will also need to notify anyone who is entitled to a share in the Estate. If there is a Will, this will be anyone named a beneficiary. If there is no Will, then the Intestacy Rules will apply. You can find out who is entitled to the Estate of someone under the Intestacy Rules here:- https://www.gov.uk/inherits-someone-dies-without-will 

If you found a copy of a Will, but not the original, it is possible that the company that made the Will are storing the original. You should contact the company named on the Will to see if they are holding anything. If it is a firm of solicitors, they will not be able to confirm any information to anyone other than the Executors named in the Will. They will also want to see a copy of the Death Certificate too. If you do have to contact a solicitor, many offer a free initial advice consultation, which you might like to take advantage of.

If you have any questions or would like assistance with any of the above, then please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated Wills & Probate team on 01753 486777 or jgani@astonbond.co.uk