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What to do when loved one dies

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Steps you need to take when a loved one dies

Losing someone you love can be extremely difficult. At such a stressful time it can be a daunting task to have to deal with their affairs. Below we set the steps that you must take as soon as possible and the steps that don’t require your immediate attention:

  1. You should make sure to notify friends and family of the death, especially if they are living abroad so that they have time to book flights home.
  2. If the deceased has not died in a hospital/care home/hospice, you should ensure to call a doctor to notify him/her of the death.
  3. Funeral arrangements. You should try to ascertain whether or not the deceased had any specific requests i.e. burial or cremation, did they purchase a burial plot during their lifetime, if so you should find the details of this plot, was there any particular music they would like to have played at the funeral etc

How to register a death & what documents you will need?

You should register the death. In order to register a death in Ireland you need to make an appointment to attend with a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. This appointment can be made online at Register a death – HSE.ie  You will need to bring the following documentation with you to this appointment:

  • Photo ID: Passport or Driving Licence
  • Death Notification Form (this will be provided to you by the treating doctor).
  • If the death is referred to the Coroner then there may be a delay in being able to register the death but you can enquire as to whether or not the Coroner can provide you with an interim death certificate.

What happens after I register the death

Once you have registered the death there are other people that should be notified of the death as soon as possible, such as:

  • Insurance Agencies & financial institutions.
  • State Authorities i.e., was the deceased in receipt of a State Pension. If they were in receipt of a pension, then the relevant authority should be notified as soon as possible in order to avoid overpayment. Any overpayment will have to be reimbursed to the State.
  • The solicitor of the deceased to find out whether they hold a valid Will.

What accounts do I need to cancel?

  • Any regular deliveries to the deceased, such as newspapers, magazines, milk etc
  • Broadband and telephone connections.
  • If they were a tenant in a rental property make sure any future rent payments are cancelled.
  • Contact An Post in order to re-direct mail.
  • Cancel any Standing Orders or Direct Debits.
  • Notify TV licence authorities of the death.
  • Cancel subscription accounts such as Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime, online newspaper subscriptions, Sky TV
  • Cancel Bin Collection services
  • Mobile phone – you will need to contact the service provider.

Closing social media accounts

You should consider whether or not you wish to delete social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, TickTock, Twitter.

What documents you will need when someone dies

  • The list of documents you will need when someone dies

    There are certain documents that you are going to need to make an application to the Probate Office. Not all of these documents will be required in every case and this list is in no way exhaustive:

    • Death Certificate
    • Bank Statements
    • Credit card statements
    • Life insurance policies
    • Wills
    • Title Deeds
    • Unpaid bills
    • Health insurance documents
    • Details of all pension schemes
    • Prize Bond certificates
    • Stocks and shares
    • VLC (Vehicle Licence Certificate)
    • Investment accounts
    • State savings accounts
    • Retirement policies
    • Credit unions statements (is there insurance or a nominee)
    • Cheque books
    • Bank cards
    • Marriage certificate
    • Birth certificates
    • Death certificate for a spouse or child if applicable
    • Decree of divorce if applicable
    • Decree of Judicial Separation if applicable
    • Separation agreement if application
    • Pension Adjustment Order if applicable
    • Up to date tax returns (these can be obtained from Revenue)
    • Keys to any safety deposit box if applicable
    • Keys to the house if applicable
    • Partnership agreements if applicable
    • Cohabitation agreements if applicable
    • Business agreements
    • Details of all and any debts due to the deceased.
    • Details of all and any debts owed by the deceased whether business or personal
  • What to do with the documentation

    Once all of the relevant documentation has been located you need to decide whether or not you will seek to administer the Estate yourself or whether you require the services of a solicitor. Obtaining a Grant of Probate or letters of Administration (on intestacy) can be an onerous, complicated and stressful procedure and it is advisable that you seek legal advice. The above list is in no way exhaustive and there are many other items and documents that may be required in any given Estate

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