What do you do when someone dies?

Legal clinic round up – March 2018

We spoke to people with a wide variety of issues ranging from whether a landlord can refuse a tenant’s request for alterations to a property for disabled access; how to set up a charity; and whether a person with dementia is able to make changes to their will or appoint an attorney.      

We are frequently asked what happens when a relative dies?

If they died at home the first thing to do is notify their doctor so that a medical certificate can be issued.  This will be issued by the hospital if the person died in hospital, or by the coroner in the case of a sudden or unexpected death.

Once you have a medical certificate you can register the death at the local registry office (Follaton House) unless the coroner is involved the death must be registered within 5 days. 

You can register a death if you are a relative, if you were present at the time of death, if you in charge of the disposal of the body (usually the executor if there is a will) or if you are in charge of making funeral arrangements.  

The registrar will need the deceased’s identity documents, confirmation of the deceased’s full name at the date of death, any previous names, their date and place of birth and their last address, their occupation and full name, date of birth and occupation of a surviving or late spouse or civil partner and whether they receive a state pension or benefits.  Don’t forget to take documents to confirm your own identity.