When someone dies there are a number of things which must be done in the days immediately following the death. This may seem hard to deal with at a stressful and emotionally difficult time, but these actions must be completed in order to move forward with matters such as arranging a funeral.
Firstly, the nearest relative, or representative of the deceased, must collect the medical certificate from a GP or the hospital where the person died. This document will be needed to register the death.
It is a criminal offence not to register a death and this must be done within five days. Where the coroner is notified of the death, and an inquest is ordered, the death will not be registered immediately. However, the registrar will be able to issue the relevant documentation so that representatives can arrange a funeral and commence the handling of the estate.
Sorting out the person’s affairs, although important and legally necessary, can be commenced later, but many relatives and representatives choose to seek the advice of a Wills, probate and trusts solicitor as soon as possible, so that matters arising from the death can be handled expeditiously.
The process of proving the legal validity of a will is known as probate. Probate is also the term for the administration of an estate and involves the sale and dispersal of all the deceased’s assets and wealth. In order to gain the legal right to access the person’s bank account and to arrange the selling of property etc., relatives of the deceased will have to apply for grant of representation (the legal right to handle the estate). However, not all estates will need such a grant.
An experienced solicitor can quickly ascertain whether the family will need to apply for grant of representation and can make the application, on their behalf, to the appropriate probate office.
The Wills and probate solicitor will also handle any matters relating to Inheritance Tax, collection of assets, payment of debts and matters relating to trusts. Once the estate has been finalised, the solicitor will distribute the estate among the beneficiaries, as detailed in the Will.
George Ide’s wills and probate lawyers are here to help when a person dies. We bring expert and sensitive legal knowledge to bear on all matters involving probate inheritance matters and have helped many clients from West Sussex and the South of England handle complex and high-value estates, as well as helping relatives where probate is straightforward.
Above all, we pride ourselves on providing insightful legal advice and plain-English assistance to bereaved families and friends at a time of loss and uncertainty.
To find out more about George Ide’s Wills, probate, trusts solicitors and our work in Bognor Regis, Chichester and West Sussex as a whole, why not call our offices today. Alternatively, for direct contact details of members of the team, please click through to the staff profiles as featured on this page.