probate, support and links
The support and advice of your Funeral Director will not necessarily end with the funeral. Should you feel the need for any additional help please do not hesitate to contact us. It may be that you (or one of your family or a child) requires some support and could be helped through this difficult time by a trained and skilled counsellor who will be able to ‘lend an ear’. We will be able to put you in contact with counsellors who work closely with us.
Winchester & District Bereavement Support.
For confidential help: 01962 863626
Bishops Waltham & District Bereavement Support.
For confidential help: 01489 893498
Understandably this is a difficult subject and we are often asked whether children should attend a funeral or visit our Chapel of Rest. Naturally this will depend upon the age of the child, their relationship with the person who has died, and whether they have expressed a wish to do so. Each child is different and will react as an individual. From our experience you may find the following information helpful.
It is important that a child is told as quickly as possible when there is a death in the family. The news should be given by the person closest to them in a simple and straightforward manner. Do not be afraid to use the words ‘died’ or ‘dead’ and be careful with the pictures you may create in the child’s mind – they need to agree with what the child actually knows or has seen.
Encourage the child to talk about the deceased and to ask questions; answer these briefly but truthfully – you may be surprised how supportive and accepting the child can be.
To help you, we recommend a book called ‘Badger’s Parting Gifts’ (ISBN 0-00-664317-5) alternatively ‘Waterbugs & Dragonflies’ (ISBN 0-8264-7181-1) available from good bookstores.
We have a supply of booklets called ‘Remember Me Always’. These are an excellent handbook to help bereaved families care for grieving children – they are available free of charge.
How do I administer an estate?
Before an estate can be realised and distributed amongst the beneficiaries a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration will be required. The simplest way to ensure this is carried out correctly is to instruct a Solicitor, Bank or Probate Specialist to act for you. This need not necessarily involve you in great expense, but it will ensure that all the correct allowances are applied for, bills are paid, returns to the relevant tax offices are dealt with promptly, and any life assurance or pension entitlements are correctly claimed. Alternatively, a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration can be applied for online by an individual or family member with access to all the necessary information and legal rights to do so.
Probate is required where the deceased has left a Will. The Will must be ‘proved’ before the Probate Registry of the High Court. Upon completion the executors named in the Will are able to administer the estate.
Letters of Administration are required where the deceased has not left a Will. The deceased is said to have died Intestate and the question then arises as to who should administer the estate. Here again application has to be made to the Court, usually by the next of kin, and when the Court is satisfied, they will issue a document (Letters of Administration) appointing the applicant as administrator of the estate.
Where the estate is small it is possible for the assets to be realised without making applications for a Grant. The local Probate Registry Office will advise you of the maximum asset value applicable in such circumstances.
Motor Insurance cover on a vehicle owned by the deceased ceases upon death. The insurance company should be informed immediately and arrangements made for a transfer. The vehicle registration document should be returned for transfer of ownership and the deceased’s driving licence should be returned to the DVLA.
Any current passport should be sent to The Passport Office.