Welcome to Bereavement Care Website.

We understand the confusion and distress that can surround people when a loved one dies. Access to clear, concise information is key to making a stressful time more bearable.

Please take the time to explore this website.


Looking After You

When someone close to you dies the shock and grief can feel overwhelming. It is important to take care of yourself after bereavement; as the saying goes, you must put your oxygen mask on first before you can begin to help others.

Ensure that you eat well, (even if you don’t feel like it), rest when you can and accept offers of help. You also need to give yourself time and permission to grieve; however, people do this in their own way. You may feel like you want to return to work fairly quickly, whereas someone else would want to take a couple of months off to come to terms with their loss.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve so just go with your feelings.

If you feel that you require some outside support, or just want to talk with someone who is not emotionally connected to your situation, you can contact organisations such as Cruse Bereavement Care by visiting their website at http://www.cruse.org.uk/
or phoning 0844 477 9400.

It is important that you do not turn to drugs or alcohol to help you cope with your grief. Not only can they make you feel worse in the long run, but they can also lead to problems of addiction.

Ensure you do not isolate yourself from others, as those close to you will be looking for any opportunity to support you.

The healing process following bereavement takes time, and you need to give yourself the compassion and support required to get to a point where you feel you can look to the future in a confident, content manner.

How to Claim Life Insurance After Someone Dies

The death of a loved one is one of the most stressful events a person can face in their lifetime.   One of the biggest administrative burdens one must cope with upon the death of a relative is the claiming of life insurance.  This short guide is designed to explain the steps you need to take to make a claim and what to do if your insurer will not pay out.

What should I tell my insurer?

Following the death of the insured, you will need to inform the company that provided the life insurance policy that the insured party has died, and you wish to make a claim.

You will need to provide the following documents:

  • the death certificate
  • the life insurance policy form
  • a claim form (provided by the insurer)

What if I cannot find the life insurance policy?

Continue reading “How to Claim Life Insurance After Someone Dies” »

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How to Obtain Probate

When a person dies they usually leave behind an estate (assets, money and/or property) and, hopefully a will.

The will should name one or more executors who are responsible for administering the estate and one of their first duties is to apply for a Grant of Probate from the Court.

What is Probate?

A Grant of Probate is an official document which the executors may need to administer the estate. It is issued by a division of the Court known as the Probate Registry.

Do I Need to Apply for Probate if there is no Will?

Continue reading “How to Obtain Probate” »

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What to do After Someone Dies

A loved one dying is a devastating experience, regardless of whether it was expected or not. It can be difficult to think about the legal requirements you need to fulfil in the days following the death, so this guide is designed to explain the process step by step, so it is one less thing you have to think about at such a trying time.

What are the legal requirements when someone dies?

There are three things you have to do when someone dies.

  1. Obtain a medical certificate (this is required to register the death).
  2. Register the death.
  3. Arrange a funeral.

What do I do if someone dies at home?

If someone dies at home and the death was expected a doctor will issue a medical certificate showing the cause of death.

What if the death was unexpected?

If someone dies unexpectedly, violently or the family doctor has not seen them in the past 14 days, the death must be reported to a Coroner. They will investigate the cause of death and may order a post-mortem.

What should I do if someone dies abroad?

If someone dies in a foreign country you will need to register the death according to the regulations of that particular jurisdiction and at the British Consulate.

How do I register a death in the UK?

Continue reading “What to do After Someone Dies” »

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How to Organise a Will

Research shows that less than half of the UK population has a will. However, if you die without having a will (known as dying intestate) then the consequences can be dire for your surviving family members.

Drafting a will is a relatively straight forward process. This guide is designed to explain the basic principles.

Why is it important to make a will?

A will is a legal document that states your wishes for the distribution of your property and assets (known as your estate) when you die. If you die intestate, the Rules of Intestacy will govern how your estate will be distributed.

What constitutes a valid will?

Under section 9 of the Wills Act 1837, in order for a will to be valid it must be:

  • in writing
  • signed by the testator
  • the signature is witnessed by two witnesses at the same time

The will also be made voluntarily and by a person of sound mind, otherwise it has the potential to be challenged in Court.

What is an executor?

Executors are the people you appoint to administrate your will following your death. They are responsible for submitting your will to probate. They will have to collect together all the assets of the estate, deal with all the paperwork and pay all the debts, taxes, funeral and administration costs out of money in the estate.

Executors can also be beneficiaries of the will.

Can I make provisions for my children’s’ care if I die before they are adults?

Yes. In your will you can appoint Guardians for your children and make arrangements for where and with who they will live with and provide for them financially.

Do I need a Solicitor to make a valid will?

Not necessarily. However, making a will without legal advice can lead to mistakes and/or lack of clarity. If you have complicated finances or many beneficiaries, it is highly recommended that you obtain professional legal advice. You can find a list of solicitors specialising in wills and probate here.

Do I need to update my will?

Yes. If you get married or enter a civil partnership your existing will is automatically cancelled. You should also update your will if you get divorced, have children or by a property.

Can I make a joint will with my spouse?

Continue reading “How to Organise a Will” »