Intimations Online
Although it's difficult today to see beyond the sorrow,
May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.
Anon


Sorting out Their Affairs.

Once the Funeral Service is over we need to turn our attention to the other aspects of someone’s death. There is much to be done and many people and organisations to be informed. The complexity of winding up their affairs will be dependent upon their particular circumstances and whether or not they left a Will.

You need to Check if the deceased has left a will. This may have been kept along with other official documents or you could check with the deceased person’s solicitor, who may have a copy if you can't find one.

If there is a Will, the executor should start the process of obtaining probate.

If there isn’t a Will, you need to decide who will sort out the deceased's affairs and contact the Probate Registry to apply for 'letters of administration’

You may find it helpful to contact a Solicitor for advice.

The next part of the process will then depend on the Will if they have one and their personal circumstances, if they were married, if they had a family, If they were still working or had a pension, if they owned a house or a car, If they have savings and investments.

In most circumstances the first priority will be to try and secure some sort of income for their dependents. Immediate funds may be available from the Bank, but this will depend on the particular accounts held and of course the Balance. The bank accounts will provide valuable information about income and expenditure and can be very useful in identifying the various organisations that need to be contacted.

There may be Life Insurance and Pension Plans. These will be among the first to be contacted, as you would wish to establish what funds are available to cover the Funeral Expenses and pay any outstanding finance or bills.

The longer term solution may take the form of a State Pension, Works or Personal Pension or Benefits. The outcome will be determined by your particular circumstances.

Following on from that you would look at where they were living and check what arrangements need to be made to transfer the ownership or rental agreement, to their dependents. Don’t forget to check the House and Content Insurance as this may need to be amended.

If they have a car, the DVLA will have to be informed and the insurance cover either cancelled or amended.

Then there are the Doctors, Dentist and Hospitals where they may have outstanding appointments, as well as the Utility Companies and the local Council.

It then becomes a bit more complicated as it will depend on the deceased and their particular lifestyle. They may belong to various Groups and Clubs and may have numerous membership and magazine subscriptions. It is just a question of working your way through it and checking the mail to see if there is anyone you have forgotten.

Other things you may need to do.

We have mentioned earlier about Insurance Policies, and if appropriate, it is worth checking to make sure that they still provide the cover and protection required.

You may require to give up or to sell their home and dispose of their possessions. This can be a very stressful and the timescale involved can be very short, particularly if rent or a mortgage is due and there are no funds to pay them.

Giving up a rented home is fairly simple, and often the next of kin would suggest that family and friends help themselves to some memento or keepsake, these might include Family Heirlooms or items which hold memories for the deceased and yourself.

It would then be a question of arranging the disposal of furniture and personal effects. Dependent upon the age and condition of the furniture you may want an Antiques Dealer or House Clearance specialist to give you a valuation. Failing that, there are many charities and community groups who recycle furniture, clothing and Bric-a-brac and who could raise money from your unwanted items. For those items which are not suitable or which you do not want give to charity, your local authority may be able to arrange a Special Uplift or you could take them to your local authority amenity and recycling facility.

If the Deceased owned their house, it is likely that they have a Will which specifies what should happen to it once they have gone. It may either be gifted to someone, in which case they will take responsibility for it, or it may have to be sold and the proceeds divided among the various beneficiaries.

If the house is to be sold, it would be advisable to speak to a solicitor and an estate agent. They would be able to advise you how to proceed and what preparation, if any, they would recommend before putting the house on the market. They may suggest that the house is cleared before they put it up for sale, in which case you could proceed as above. Alternatively they may suggest that you leave it furnished, in which case you may wish to remove any valuables and personal possessions.

Dependent upon the views of the beneficiaries and estate agents, you may prefer to do some decorating and have the house and garden cleaned and tidied. Whilst this may not increase the value, it may help the sale.

If the deceased had a car it may have to be sold. How you proceed may be influenced by the age and value of the car and by the needs of the family. It is not uncommon that someone in the family may wish to buy the car or if it’s not too valuable may be given away for a nominal sum. However if it has to be sold there are a number of options including advertising in the press and online, selling at auction or selling to the trade. If it is fairly new and was bought from a garage, then having a talk with them might be a good place to start. They would be able to give you a valuation and may suggest other alternatives.