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What do you have to do when someone dies?

(7 Posts)
gemmiegoatlegs Thu 17-Sep-09 08:43:56

I mean the practical things. My grandad passed away last night and he lived on his own following the death of my nana a couple of years ago.

Most of the family live some distance away and will be up to organise the funeral etc, but i am wondering about the legal stuf and clearing the house as there is only me and my mum who live in the area.

I don't even know what to do about flowers or anything.

I want to be useful but don't know where to start.


Deemented Thu 17-Sep-09 10:20:12

I'm sorry to hear of your loss. It's hard to lose someone you love, then have to deal with everything.

Firstly, it depends on where your grandad was when he died. Was he at home or in hospital? Will there be a postmortem? You will need to register the death, but this can't be done until you have a confirmation of death from doctor - you will usually be given a form and an appointment to go to register his death at the births deaths and marraiges place. When you go to do this, it's helpful to get a number of copies of the death certificate as they will be needed for several things. You can also get some photocopies, but most places require an original death cert.

When you go to register his death, there will be a couple of forms in the pack they give you. One will be for the undertaker - you give this to them and they can then start making arrangements. Another will be for the Department of Work and Pensions, to cancel his pension ect.

When you take this in to them, you can pick up a form for funeral expenses, if you need to claim them. Also, if you were your grandads carer, you need to inform carers allowance of his death, but they will keep paying carers to you for approx 8-12 weeks after his death. (sorry i can't remember exactly, i did all this with my mum and dh, and think i've blocked lots out)

Did your grandad own his home? I'm not sure what happens if he did, but if he rented from council, and there is to be no sucession of tenancy, you will need to inform them of his death, and they will give you a date when they expect you to hand the keys in - should be about 28 days or so.

I think that's about all, but hopefully there will be someone else along soon.

Deemented Thu 17-Sep-09 10:22:53

Oh, and also it might be helpful to try and find out if he had a will that was held with a solicitor or anything, as it may give a clue as to what his wishes were.

Oh and wrt the flowers, once the funeral is arranged, then go to a trusted florist, or ring round for quotes and you can then give them details ect. You can also claim on the funeral expenses for flowers too.

fifilabelle Thu 17-Sep-09 10:25:16

Hello there,
sorry to hear about your bereavement. I suppose the first thing you need to think about is registering the death. Most hospitals have a samll information leaflet or book which helps guide you through the process. You will need to obtain the death certificate from the hospital then go the registrars. Once that is done you then need to contact an undertaker. They take much of the work off your hands and suggest flowers, announcements in the local paper and generally keep you right. If your grandfather had a solicitor then contacting them re the will would also be beneficial to see if he had any special funeral requests then you could start clearing the house. If not and there is no will then I would seek advice from maybe your own solicitor or citizens advice first.
Take care and I hope everything goes okay.

Tortington Thu 17-Sep-09 10:29:17

i think dee covered most of it

what i remember being in your situation, is how little i knew and how panicky i felt. However the funeral director gives lots of information - about the postmortem, death certificate issues, putting the death in the paper, sorting out the flowers, asking us about the church, the burial plot. They will advise you.

also if money is an issue, don't think that things won't go ahead unless you pay. of course they will and the funeral directors are usually very patient about funds coming through.

Tortington Thu 17-Sep-09 10:32:26

also regarding clearing the house. my aunt bpxed everything up at my nans house (she died this february gone) she told us all to come and have a look see if we wanted anything.

then she called a local animal charity to pick it all up.

if it is a council property, they might be arseholes about it - they might not - but they tried telling my uncle that he had to pay the rent after my nans death ( which is bullshit)

so if it is council remember if there is any issues contact shelter by phone and they can advise you about the legalities.

gemmiegoatlegs Thu 17-Sep-09 19:38:43

Thanks for all your replies. We have just sat around today waiting for the hospital to confirm that the death certificate was available or refer to coroner. Lucckily they have decided everything is above board and have issued the death cert. We have had a good root through his paperwork today, including me turning all criminal and picking a lock on his desk. it felt so wrong to be going through his things but we did turn up a will written in the 1970s. Not sure if he ever updated but at least there is something to go on. I was hoping we would find instructions of a solicitor but there were none.

I am confident we can plan a service he would approve of and see him off properly. The house belonged to him, so there is no sense in rushing the clear out. He has hoarded stuff for the last 50 years by the look of it...he never threw anything out so it will be a big job.

I feel remarkably peaceful today and am just glad he didn't suffer unnecessarily. Thank you all for your kind wishes

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