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trying to make a guide for whoever has to deal with my estate after i die

(31 Posts)
bluetoothbrush Sat 23-Feb-13 16:58:26


i'm trying to make a guide for whoever has to deal with my estate after i die. i've just got my will already written. i just wanted to leave a little guide to go with that. i've never had anybody die on me, so just wondered have i missed out on any steps and/or are any of these bits wrong:


Relatives must register death with nearest registry (the hospital direct you where to go after the person has been pronounced dead).

After the person is pronounced dead, the hospital or medical body give you a medical certificate to take to the registry.

Hospital or medical body with both need ID.

Registry will need ID.

Relatives to contact solicitor.

Relatives bring in bank statements and bills to the solicitor.

Solicitor has to write to banks and building societies etcetera with death certificate to get figures to work out how much estate is worth.

When they have all this information, the solicitor sends it to the probate registry.

The solicitor gets grant of probate and send it to the banks, building societies etcetera to get the money in.

Whether or not a person is self-employed, solicitor instructs a legal ad company to put a death notice in the London Gazette and a local newspaper.

Creditors are given eight weeks to come forward.

With the values of the estate back, solicitor can see if the estate is taxable at the date of death. If it is under £325k, inheritance tax return doesn’t go in.

A regular tax return would still need to go in (solicitors often help with this anyway).


After death, relatives don’t have to deal with solicitor I've had the will drawn up with. They can do with it their own solicitor. My solicitor would just need the death certificate from the other solicitor, if needs be.

bluetoothbrush Mon 04-Mar-13 14:46:41

yes those left behind may well do things on their own in this case.

secretscwirrels Sat 02-Mar-13 15:08:00

You really don't need solicitors to execute a small, simple estate. Obviously different if there are inheritance tax or guardianship issues.
I did MIL and my father's when they died. You don't even need probate in every case.
If the executor is capable enough they just need to know where to find documents.

t327 Sat 02-Mar-13 14:58:26

maybe mumsnet should put up a guide about this sort of stuff...

btwo1 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:54:49


btwo1 Wed 27-Feb-13 13:16:01

Yes those two "age-uk" guides do look good. I'll keep those aside myself, if people think they're up to the job?


I had another couple of questions:


I know to register a death, you need id, but do you need id at any stage before that? At the hospital perhaps? Maybe it depends if they die at home?


With somebody who's self employed - Is it different than from a regular person dying in any way? Or are all the processes exactly the same? Posting an ad in the london gazette and a local paper, giving the creditors 8 weeks.

Also I did wonder about national insurance contributions.



bluetoothbrush Mon 25-Feb-13 22:20:46

well that's that answered - much appreciated. i'll just leave the age-uk guides then, i guess and get on with my letters now.... thankyou fw.

fuckwittery Mon 25-Feb-13 22:14:11

Sorry, I vaguely know this stuff having it done it once before and general law knowledge but didn't bother to check that one.

Guidance here

You don't have to value if individual item under £500. When guessing, if you can back it up with online research I understand that's OK, e.g. there is an example of using online data below with regards to how much a secondhand car worth. Copied and pasted from the HMRC site:-

Step 1 - Work out the total value of the assets and gifts
Find out the market value (a realistic selling price) of all of the assets at the time of death. This may be lower than the insurance value.
To value some assets you may need to make more detailed enquiries. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) strongly recommend that you use a professional valuer for valuing land and buildings, because the valuing of land and buildings can be a complicated area. You'll have to pay their fees, but you may be able to claim these back from the estate later.
You don't have to get a professional valuation for ordinary household or personal items if either of the following applies:
the individual items have a value of less than £500
you can use publicly available data to value the items - for example, to value a second hand car
This includes items such as furniture, pictures, paintings, china, TV, audio and video equipment, cameras, jewellery, cars, caravans, boats, antiques and stamp collections.
Remember to include any gifts (money, property or assets) that the deceased gave away that weren't exempt. If you don't know the exact value of any item and the value of the estate is likely to be less than £200,000 you can use an estimated figure but be as accurate as possible.
Add this all together to get the total value of the assets and gifts.

bluetoothbrush Mon 25-Feb-13 22:08:39

is this a guess? or do you know? if that is the case, that'd be a time-saver. thanks

fuckwittery Mon 25-Feb-13 22:05:07

If your estate is well under the limit for inheritance tax then I don't think it is necessary to value them, or you can just roughly estimate.

bluetoothbrush Mon 25-Feb-13 21:58:04

i've also posted on this board about how those left behind value your estate.. things like bank accounts have paperwork... but what about your bits and pieces? there was one suggestion on these boards that items below a certain value don't need a formal valuation (not quite sure what that value is) and your executor/s just stick in a decent guess for what your bits and pieces are worth. i imagine at least few reading these boards have had to gone through this process. i was hoping with that knowledge and perhaps the age-uk guides, i'd be leaving another info behind...

then i could put together a document of funeral wishes, one with passwords in and perhaps deal with the sentimental stuff...

bluetoothbrush Mon 25-Feb-13 21:42:03

cheers fw. they seemed pretty comprehensive to me but then again i've never had to deal with this stuff in practice... and i imagine somebody on theses boards will have and know.

fuckwittery Mon 25-Feb-13 20:31:46

I am sure that would be fine. Is there any reason you can't speak to the persons who would inherit your estate about it now? x

bluetoothbrush Mon 25-Feb-13 18:58:07


bluetoothbrush Mon 25-Feb-13 13:43:53

i do wonder if i just left copies of those two age-uk guides instead (and a note explaining that if they wanted to do the paperwork themselves or with their own solicitor, my solicitor would just need the death certificate to get the will), that'd be better?

would that cover everything somebody would need? not had anybody die on me yet so i wouldn't know what would be useful to them. opinions?

bluetoothbrush Mon 25-Feb-13 13:05:35

"Re: 44SoStartingOver

The probate service is also very good and helpful. A solicitor handling everything can be v expensive if your estate is small and simple. If dc need financial support that may be a consideration. Complex estates I'm sure are better with a solicitor"

Yes, it is quite small actually.

bluetoothbrush Mon 25-Feb-13 11:55:08

yes have done, fw. i didn't think those diy packs would be a good idea. it's just the what happens after you die bits that i'm a little fuzzy about.

fuckwittery Sun 24-Feb-13 20:09:12

I'm a lawyer but don't do wills and probate - please get your will looked at by a professional if you haven't already as its so so easy to get it wrong and invalidate,

bluetoothbrush Sun 24-Feb-13 16:11:38

cheers fw. would be nice to get this all typed in the next few days. some times you get lawyers and will writers on these boards, i think... so maybe they can say where i'm going right or wrong.

fuckwittery Sat 23-Feb-13 23:42:50

I hope you're ok btw bluetoothbrush x are you facing an illness? Sorry to pry, but the bereavement topic would be helpful if you want to talk about support for yourself or your loved ones x

bluetoothbrush Sat 23-Feb-13 23:12:43

thanks fw. will probably deal with the sentimental stuff with separate document.

i found this one on age uk too:


i guess it would be useful if somebody wanted to redraft my original post. i hadn't thought about the dvla and passports though. it's difficult understanding all this, particularly as i've never had to deal with this myself yet.

fuckwittery Sat 23-Feb-13 22:40:12

Also, think about leaving passwords to email accounts and social media if you wish your family to be able to access and delete or read your correspondence. I know of a friend whose husband died she found it a great comfort he had saved email between them from the early days of their relationship, she could also access their photos stored online.

bluetoothbrush Sat 23-Feb-13 22:38:27

i've got a funeral wishes letter together and i'm putting together another letter with financial and computer passwords and things in it.

fuckwittery Sat 23-Feb-13 22:37:05
When my mother died recently I was given a booklet by the hospital with the info on this website. The hospital bereavement office. I had to go to the bereavement office to pick up a body rerelease form and doctors certificate of death, and the hospital made the registrar appointment for me.

At the registry appointment I was given info about the "tell us once" service which will notify Dvla, passport office, hmrc, tax credits, benefits agency council tax, local library and any other public service you can think of, with just one phone call. that was very helpful. You sign up at the registry office, and the registry gave me the phone number and a reference number to call and confirm details. The registrar notifies the tell us once service of the death, so you don't need to send copies of the death cert to all these places.

There were a lot of questions at the registry office that when I registered my grans death I wasn't sure of - occupation of her husband, date if marriage. List of questions here

It was very helpful to have all accounts in joint names before my mum died, if you are leaving your estate to one person, all the money in the accounts was just considered mine not part of my mums estate and I just had to go in with the death certificate to change the accounts into a sole name.

I had to notify mum's two private pension companies. Didn't have to send death cert if either, they apparently don't need proof if you request money to stop!

All utility providers with a meter reading - they just then started sending bills to me as executor, again no need to send death cert.

There were a couple of insurance policies to cancel - required death cert to refund rest of years premium, you need to retain building insurance and notify that the property is empty,

Most companies have bereavement departments to sensitively deal.

My mum had also paid for a funeral plan and left instructions with the vicar and the funeral directors for the service as to her wishes.

I didn't need probate as sole beneficiary and executor and my mum lived in a house I owned and because of bank accounts being joint, and estate not above limit. Executor can do probate themselves not necessary to use a solicitor. Just a question of gathering in all money owed to the estate and paying all debts.

If assets are small no property to sell and there is one executor/Beneficiary it isn't necessary to have probate.

bluetoothbrush Sat 23-Feb-13 22:33:41

i've just found this on age uk:

...and it mentions things like having to send your passport back and contacting the dvla. i guess i'd like to make a pretty comprehensive guide and i've not had to deal with anybody else's estate before. i just wondered where i'm going right and wrong. a few things people have mentioned here thus far are good.

RambleOn Sat 23-Feb-13 22:27:25

From bitter experience: if you have any valuables in a safe/safety deposit box, record the details of the codes/PIN/location of the keys.

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