What to Do if You Lose a Parent

Although it is a subject we don’t like to bring up, death is every bit as natural as birth, and sooner or later your parents will reach that age when their passing in on the horizon. When the eventual happens, it can be an emotional time for the children, who are now hopefully adults, and this guide is intended to offer practical assistance during this stressful time.

  • Obtain a Medical Certificate – If your parent died in a hospital, they will provide you with a medical certificate, or if the death occurred at home, your GP would be able to provide the certificate. If the person died in a public place, then the emergency services would be involved, and possibly a post mortem to discover the cause of death.
  • Register the Death – This must be done within 5 days of the death, unless there is a coroner involved, and the details required include:
  • Full name and address of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation

This would be completed at a UK register office, and an online search would reveal the whereabouts of the nearest to you.

  • Dealing with the Estate – Ideally, the deceased would have made a Will, but whatever happens, it is advisable to contact a family lawyer with experience in Wills and Probate services, and if you happen to live in the north of England, JWP Solicitors are an ideal choice. The deceased would have nominated an Executor in the Will, and it is this person’s responsibility to ensure that the deceased person’s last wishes are carried out. In the event the person did not leave a Will, the solicitor can advise you accordingly.
  • Death Certificate – You will require multiple copies of this to send to relative insurance companies and government departments, so make sure you purchase a few extra copies. Identification, such as passport and driving licence must be returned to the relevant authorities, and you will need to inform the banks and building societies of the death and make preparations to close the accounts.
  • Arranging the Funeral – The deceased may have made a funeral plan, which would cover all the expenses, or there might be a provision in the Will for funeral arrangements. Either way, you will need to make the arrangements, and it is best to consult your local undertaker, who will have a range of packages to suit every budget. No one likes to leave their loved ones with the burden of burial expenses, and most people have made provisions for this, and if there is no mention of that in the will, you should go through the deceased person’s drawers to see if there is anything relating to funeral cover.

Losing a parent is never an easy time, and hopefully, the above information will make the process a little easier. If you require the services of a solicitor, an online search would reveal the whereabouts of an experienced practice in your area.

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