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Dad and I are trying to sort things out following a family bereavement — what are the practical things that we need to do straight away?

Key tasks are getting a medical certificate showing the cause of death from a doctor (two certificates if the deceased is to be cremated); registering the death and obtaining a death certificate; and arranging the funeral.

Other practical tasks include securing the deceased’s home and belongings. If they died in hospital or a care home you will need to arrange for the body to be collected and get their personal belongings back.

Your first step is to find your relative’s will so that you can check who the executors are, as they are primarily responsible for these tasks.

In due course, the executors will also be responsible for administering your relative’s estate: collecting up all the assets, paying all the deceased’s debts and liabilities, sorting out any inheritance tax and distributing the estate to the beneficiaries named in the will. At that stage the executors should seriously consider whether they will need legal help from a solicitor.


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