There are books available from ordinary book shops on all the steps which need to be taken after someone dies, but more immediate (and free) help is available from the government website which includes a helpful checklist and links. To access this website, please visit www.direct.gov.uk and search for 'what to do when someone dies checklist'.
If the deceased left a will, the person or persons appointed in it as executors have the right and the duty to carry out its terms. No-one else should take steps to deal with the estate.
If there is no will certain persons have a right to deal with the estate as set out by law and no-one else should take steps to deal with the estate.
The Personal Representatives (either executors where there is a will or administrators where there is no will) can deal with the estate themselves or appoint professionals, invariably solicitors, to help.
Bird & Daniels are frequently consulted and we offer several options depending on the level of assistance you require.
As soon as we are able to ascertain the details of the estate we give you an estimate of the likely costs. Like most other solicitors we charge according to the amount of professional time we spend dealing with the case but this firm does not charge an extra percentage fee based upon the value of the estate. (We understand that such percentage fees add considerably to the costs charged by many banks, and other professionals). We do not offer fixed price probate fees though we understand some commercial firms do. The reason we don't is, that having compared our costs with theirs, such fixed costs are substantial compared to the value of estates in many cases. We belive our legal fees are very competitive and we try to help you make savings where possible during this difficult time.
If you would like to discuss the best option to suit your circumstances, please contact Katie at our office.
Please see our When Someone Dies - FAQs for further information