In the first few days you must obtain a medical certificate from a GP or hospital doctor, which is needed to register the death. The death then needs to be registered within 5 days. Once this is done the funeral can be arranged.

The executor/s appointed in a persons Will should then apply for a Grant of Representation with their local Probate Office. If the deceased person didn’t leave a Will their next of kin which may be the spouse, civil partner or children can apply for a Grant. If you’re the partner of the person who’s died but weren’t married to them (or in a civil partnership) you can’t apply. You’re also not automatically entitled to get any of your partner’s estate. Applying for the Grant of Representation includes completing a probate application form, completing an Inheritance Tax form, sending your application and swearing an oath. The Grant gives the executors the legal right to deal with the deceased’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’). A Grant of Representation may not be needed if all the assets are to pass to the surviving spouse/civil partner and all assets are held jointly.

Once the Grant has been issued the executors would then contact organisations to get hold of the decease person’s assets. These assets should then be released and transferred to the executorship account. If the deceased had a pension a surviving spouse (or civil partner) may be entitled to money from it. As the executor your next role will be to pay off any debts, outstanding tax or payments before distributing the estate as detailed in the Will or by the Intestacy rules. Finally the estate accounts can be prepared and these must be approved and signed by both the executors and main beneficiaries.