The following is a checklist to help executors/family gather relevant papers after a person has died ahead of their first meeting with a Solicitor.
Most common matters
• Full Extract death certificate (not abbreviated version)
• Extract birth certificate
• Extract marriage certificate (if applicable)
• Contact details for Executors and beneficiaries
• Passport/ driving licence/ National insurance card and Proof of Address being operated prior to death
• Was there a Power of Attorney being operated prior to death?
• The original Will and any Codicils/ Letters of Wishes
• Family details – was the deceased a widow/ widower? If so, when did the spouse die and who dealt with their estate? How
many children/ grandchildren do they have – even if estranged ? Have any children predeceased the deceased?
• National Insurance number
• Extract death certificate for predeceasing spouse (if applicable)
Details of assets & debts
• Bank/Society statements/ correspondence
• Any investments correspondence – certificate, valuations, bonds, reports
• Property – did the deceased own a house? What is the value? Where are the title deeds?
• Details of home and contents insurance/ Mail redirection – is this required?
• Pension details
• Life policies – policy documents if available
• Any other policies e.g. income, critical illness etc. (policy documents if available)
• Tax return or HMRC correspondence
• Cars – including insurance details and registration documents
• Furniture and personal effects – second hand value of furniture
• Any items of value – jewellery/ antiques – these may need formal valuation
• Mortgage statement or details of lender and account number, if available
• Funeral account/ funeral tea/ funeral flowers
• Care home fees (if applicable)
• Credit card/ store cards
• Any expenses you have incurred e.g. registering the death
• Council tax statement – exemption or discount may be available
• Utilities – electricity/ gas
• Telephone/ mobile statements
• Any other accounts/ debts (including loans from friends/ family)
Less common Matters
• Details of any external advisers e.g. accountant, investment manager or IFA
• Were there any significant lifetime gifts? Particularly if over £3000 in any year
• Was the deceased a beneficiary of a trust?
• Did the deceased set up a trust?
• Foreign assets – holiday home, bank accounts etc.?
• Domicile – did the deceased live or previously live in another country?
• Loans, for example to a family member?
• Business interests – whether in partnership, as a sole trader of through a private company or LLP
If you would like any further information please contact our Lesley Iannarelli on 01383 430111 or firstname.lastname@example.org