Dale & Co. Solicitors Lincoln

What to do when someone dies

What to do when someone dies

When someone dies there are certain steps which need to be taken. Ring Dale & Co for assistance.

What you need to do within 5 days:

  • Contact GP for Doctor’s Certificate which contains the cause of death. 
  • Arrange an appointment to register the death at the Registry Office. The Lincoln Registry Office telephone number is (01522) 782244

Please note that if the death has been reported to a Coroner, you can’t register the death until the Coroner gives permission.  

Documents you will need when registering the death:

Doctor’s Certificate. You cannot register a death without this Certificate.

And (if available):

  • Birth Certificate

  • Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificate
  • NHS Medical Card

Information needed for the Registrar when registering the death:

  • Person’s full name at time of death, including any previous names (ie. Maiden names)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Last address
  • Their occupation
  • The full name, date of birth and occupation of surviving spouse or civil partner
  • Details of state pension or benefits

Who can register a death?

  • A relative
  • Someone present at the death
  • An occupant of the house
  • A hospital official
  • The person making the funeral arrangements

The Legal Process: Probate:

This is the official proving of the Will or, where there is no Will, the legal authority for someone to be appointed to deal with the estate.

If you are named in a Will as an Executor you will need a legal document called a “Grant of Probate” which gives you the right to sort out the affairs of the Deceased.  If no-one has been named in the Will or there is no Will then an Administrator is appointed to carry out the same function. 

The Grant of Probate will allow the Executor or Administrator to deal with the Banks, Local Authorities, Pension and Insurance companies and other relevant authorities dealing with selling off any assets.

Executors and Administrators are personally and legally liable for:

  • Collecting all the assets
  • Paying the debts and funeral expenses
  • Completing all legal and administrative formalities
  • Distributing what is left in accordance with the terms of the Will or in accordance with the rules of Intestacy where there is no Will.

Executors and Administrators can be held personally responsible and liable for any mistakes made.

Being an Executor or Administrator is often a time-consuming role, which can be renounced. Someone else can be appointed to act in their place if they do not wish to act.   It can be stressful if there are complex estates, disagreements among family and beneficiaries or queries about inheritance tax, trusts or property abroad.

At Dale & Co. we understand that handling an Estate can be a daunting prospect.  If you need help now, or have no idea where to start, then contact us for an initial chat with no obligation.

Ring us 01522 513399 and ask for the Wills and Probate Department or Request a Free Callback

Glossary of terms:


When someone dies the Executor normally sorts out the finances and then distributes what is left according to the Will of the deceased.


Where the deceased did not leave a Will, an Administrator is appointed in accordance with the Intestacy Rules (see below)


This is the person who is entitled to a share in the deceased’s Estate, whether under the terms of the Will or in accordance with the laws of intestacy.


This is a term commonly used when talking about applying for the right to deal with a deceased person’s affairs.

“Grant of Probate”        

The Executor applies for a Grant of Probate from a section of the court known as the Probate Registry. The Grant is a legal document which confirms that the Executor or Administrator has the authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets. They can use it to show they have the right to access funds, sort out finances and collect and share out the deceased person’s assets as set out in the Will. 

“Inheritance Tax”           

Inheritance Tax is sometimes paid on an Estate when somebody dies. It is dependent upon the size of the estate.  The Executor or personal representative pays it using funds from the deceased’s estate.


Where there is no Will the Estate will pass in accordance with the Intestacy Rules.

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Justine Hunt

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Wills and Probate

Justine Hunt FCILEx

Justine Hunt FCILEx

Head of Wills and Probate Team : Justine has been with Dale & Co. for 10 years having previously worked in Scunthorpe. She is a highly effective communicator, whose efficiency is matched by her understanding and warmth. As head of our Wills and Probate department, Justine is here to carefully guide you through each step of the legal process ensuring that you understand the ins and outs of any important decisions you may face along the way. Justine qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives in 2006 and specialises in Wills, Probate, Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection, Elderly Clients and Managing Financial Affairs. She has been an Associate Member of the Solicitors for the Elderly since 2018.

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11 Beaumont Fee Lincoln Lincolnshire LN1 1UH United Kingdom

01522 513 399

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Nicola Ingall

Nicola Ingall