Tag Archive: Bereavement

  1. Bereavement and Organising a Loved one’s Estate: Some Practical Advice

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    One of the first things we ask our clients who are recently bereaved, is how we can help with any practical arrangements necessary in the estate. Losing a loved one is difficult and upsetting and it’s our job to support our clients in every way we can.

    However, there are a number of items that must be attended to by our clients upon the death of an individual, and unfortunately they cannot be delayed. In most cases a relative or person responsible for organising the funeral proceedings is needed to carry out these important tasks. If this roll falls to you to organise, you can of course enlist our support should you wish to do so. At DRN, our sympathetic team can help you every step of the way, enabling you to carry out your loved one’s wishes efficiently and carefully, with as little upset as possible.

    Please read on for practical guidance to help you through this difficult time.

    Registering a death and obtaining a death certificate

    Once a person has died, it is the law in the UK for their death to be registered within five days at a registry office. A person’s death can be registered by:

    • A relative
    • An individual present at the death
    • An individual responsible for organising the funeral

    Once a death has been registered, a death certificate will be issued by the registrar. At this stage you may wish to request several copies of the certificate so that sending proof of death to insurance companies, banks, pension providers etc. (if applicable) is as simple as possible. A small cost is charged for copies, however this can be refunded from the estate should you not be the sole beneficiary.

    You will also be provided with a form to assist with notifying all the government institutions such as passport, HMRC, Council and Benefits agencies. This is called the Tell Us Once service

    Inform the relevant organisations

    Upon the death of a loved one, it is very important to inform institutions such as your local council so that council tax, state pension and other government services. This prevents overpayment of benefits that have to be re-paid and also liability for council tax continuing.

    Gov.UK has a service called “Tell Us Once” to help make things easier. By signing up and providing some personal details, you will be able to make the necessary changes to your loved one’s driver’s licence, and inform the relevant people within the personal tax, Department of Work and Pensions, passport office and other important governmental departments.

    Arranging the funeral and accessing the will

    If possible the Executors should check the will to see if there are any funeral wishes noted in it or perhaps it will contain details of a pre – paid funeral plan.

    Our team of dedicated will and estate solicitors are experienced in all types of probate matters. If you are unable to locate a will, or a loved one has died “intestate” – that is, without a will – we can help you to recover the details you need to continue carrying out your loved one’s wishes.

    We can also act on your behalf, guiding you through the probate process, helping you to understand items such as inheritance tax and distribution to the correct parties.

    We understand that attempting to navigate the legal requirements needed upon the death of a loved one can be difficult to deal with for the bereaved. We are here to answer any of your questions about Wills and Probate and to support you through the complex process of administration of the estate, or contesting a will you believe may be invalid.

    If you would like to speak to one of our solicitors, please call us today on 01282 433 241.

  2. How Your Will Is Essential For Your Children’s Security

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    Why are wills important?

    Most people should have a Will. Wills can distribute your property, name an executor, name guardians for children, forgive debts and more. Having a will also means that you, rather than the law of intestacy, decides who benefits from your estate when you die.

    A Will provides peace of mind, knowing that in the event of your death, your loved ones are taken care of.

     

    27 million adults in the UK do not have a Will in place.

     

    What does this mean for your family, loved ones and your estate should the worst happen?

    If you die without making a will, this is known as “Dying Intestate” and in such cases, assets such as money, property and valuable possessions are automatically divided up according to the intestacy rules.

    This means that there is the potential for your loved ones to be left nothing.

     

    Who is left out if I don’t make a will?

    What most adults in the UK don’t know is that your partner and those closest to you may not automatically stand to receive any of your assets should you pass away. Without a Will to formalise your wishes, your estate could be given to estranged members of your family or even to the Crown.

    Examples:

    If you and your partner are not married, by law, your partner would receive nothing. If you have children together, they would inherit your estate, but your partner would receive nothing as of right. If you have children from a former relationship they may take everything including your home, leaving your current partner homeless.

    It may be that you are very close to, and reliant upon, friends for help and support during your lifetime. Without a Will they will not receive anything under the intestacy rules. If you have no living relatives, your assets would pass to the Crown not to your beloved friends.

     

    How can I make sure my estate is left to the people I love when I die?

    The only way you can be sure that your wishes are adhered to in the event of your death is to make a valid Will. By creating a Will, you are ensuring that every single one of your wishes is executed following your death: From transferring family heirlooms,  carrying out funeral wishes  and perhaps most importantly to appointing guardians for your children.

     

    How is a will made?

    It can be hard to know where to start when writing your Will, but at DRN, we can make the process simple and affordable. Our experienced Will and Probate lawyers can work with you to draw up a Will that covers every one of your requests, with compassion and efficiency.

    Writing a will as a parent can be a difficult subject, but we can help you make decisions that will enable you to live your life with confidence, knowing you have made plans to help support your children in the unfortunate event of your death.

    To give yourself and your loved ones piece of mind in knowing you have made all the correct preparations, in the case of your death it is essential to write a will. You can never expect the unexpected so writing a will, whatever your age, is an important part of protecting your family.

    DRN’s Private Client department deals with all aspects of private client work including WillsProbate, Court of Protection and care for the Elderly. Well known and respected throughout East Lancashire and North Yorkshire, our team has more than 60 years’ combined experience in private client law.

    Speak to one of our expert solicitors today on 01282 433 241, or pop into one of our offices in Burnley, Colne or Ramsbottom.

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