What to do when someone dies

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What to do when someone dies

8 steps to take following someone’s death

When someone close to you dies, it can be difficult working out what to do and in what order. The process can be broken into eight stages:

Getting a medical certificate – this is required to register the death. If the person died in hospital, a Doctor will issue the certificate. If the death occurred at home, a GP should undertake the task.

Registering the death – a relative, hospital representative, or the person arranging the funeral can do this at a register office local to where the deceased died.

What to do when a Coroner is involved – when a death is reported to a Coroner, investigations must be completed before papers are issued. A Coroner may issue an interim death certificate if an inquest is held. The funeral should not be booked until this is complete, but ceremony planning can commence.

Dealing with the Will – if a Will was left, the funeral should be planned in accordance with any wishes detailed. It’s best to conduct a Will search to check if there is a Will, as this will affect how the estate is administered.

Locating important papers – other documents to search for include pension paperwork, insurance policies, and financial institution account details.

Arranging the funeral – arrangements can be handed over to a professional Funeral Director, who will be able to offer guidance.

Probate – whilst this is not always required, it may be necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate before proceeding with estate administration.

Estate administration – the process of dealing with a person’s legal/tax affairs, assets, property, liabilities, and distributing inheritance.

If you need guidance on dealing with a bereavement, please contact us.

What Happens to Premium Bonds After Death ?

A Premium Bond is an investment product held with the government by National Savings and Investment (NS&I). The government pays interest on these Bonds, and this interest is distributed by a lottery in a monthly prize draw. A cash prize can be anywhere between £25 and £1 million and is free of tax. Prizes are either paid straight into the individual’s bank account, by cheque through the post, or invested back into more Bonds.

Unlike most other assets, Premium Bonds cannot simply be passed on to beneficiaries of the estate, as they cannot be transferred into someone else’s name. When administering someone’s estate and dealing with Premium Bonds, there are two main options available to the Executor(s):

• Claim the Premium Bonds immediately

they can be repaid as part of the estate administration process, and the funds from this sale will be included as part of the total estate value for the beneficiaries. In this case, the Bonds will only be eligible for prize draws in the month that they are claimed.

• Cash them out later

NS&I will hold the Premium Bonds for 12 months after the death of the owner, during which time they are eligible for the prize draw. After this period, the Executor can claim any prizes won during this time, as well as the face value of the Bonds

It’s important to consider that although the winnings are not taxable when won, they are included in the estate for the purposes of Inheritance Tax (if applicable). Additionally, probate is more than likely required when managing Premium Bonds, as the NS&I threshold is only £5,000.

LPA applications up 19% year-on-year

Lasting Power of Attorney



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The number of Last Power of Attorney (LPA) registrations in England and Wales is continuing to soar, new data released by the Ministry of Justice has revealed.


n July to September 2022, there were 201,121 LPAs registered, up 19% compared to the equivalent quarter in 2021.

This continues the trend highlighted in a recent report from IRN Legal Research which found the number of applications in Q1 and Q2 of 2022 sat at 399,109, 12.6% higher than the 354,606 seen in the same period last year.

There were also 1,502 Enduring Powers of Attorney registered, though this represents a slight decrease from the same period last year.

The total number of Powers of Attorney (POAs) registered since 2008 can be seen below:


The Ministry of Justice said 57% of POAs registered were from female donors in July to September 2022 and 42% were from male donors. Altogether, 52% were over 75 years old.

Elsewhere in the Court of Protection data, it was also revealed that there was a 3% increase in applications made in relation to deprivation of liberty in the most recent quarter. However, there was a decrease by 36% in the orders made for deprivation of liberty over the same period from 988 to 637.


Deprivation of Liberty applications and orders, January to March 2008 to July to September 2022. Source: Ministry of Justice


Overall, there was a decrease in both applications and orders under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Specifically, there were 9,045 applications made in July to September 2022, down by 8%. During the same period there were 12,094 orders made, down by 2%.


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