Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

What paperwork do wish you could have easily accessed when dealing with a deceased relative.

(59 Posts)
Flossieturner Thu 02-Mar-17 11:39:00

We have just made new Wills and are now getting together a box of paperwork, so that it will be easy for kids to deal with our affairs. Also for each other as we both have paperwork all over the place.So far we have collected Wills, PoAs, utility bills, deeds, details of our money and insurance documents.

If anyone else has done similar may I ask what else you may have in your box? Also, if you have had to wind up the affairs of deceased person, what would have made it easier for you? What things made winding us their affairs difficult? Thanks

travelsafar Thu 02-Mar-17 12:10:11

Any pre paid funeral details, pin numbers for bank accounts etc and any passwords that may be needed for online issues or to gain entry to online accounts.

Lynnebo Thu 02-Mar-17 12:23:37

Ooh I wouldn't be leaving pin numbers for bank accounts - with the death certificate number and a few personal questions about myself, Dad's money was transferred over to me within four days by the bank. Passwords to cancel social media sites were very useful as I understand it can be a nightmare to delete those accounts so I did log on and cancel them myself.

nellgwin Thu 02-Mar-17 12:24:25

My darling husband did all the above when he was diagnosed as teminally ill.
Also put details of you GP.
He also wrote details of his order of service for his funeral and gave the name of the local vicar who he wanted to performe funeral servise.
Even though we had a month together before he died, I was in a mess and he had also asked a friend to take over any other arrangments like booking venue for us to meet after the funeral.
Cant think of anything else, but it's the little things that are forgotten.

Anya Thu 02-Mar-17 13:18:18

This Government Service called Tell Us Once is invaluable.

Do click on the link. Once you inform them of a death they will contact so many organisations you never even thought of on your behalf. I found it of great benefit when dealing with the aftermath of my sister's death.

cornergran Thu 02-Mar-17 23:29:58

I have done a schedule for us both. Gives details of all financial stuff, name of provider, account number, telephone number and details of what each is etc. It explains where the Wills etc are, where to find addresses of our friends and gives the code for the safe. I update annually and send a copy (passworded email) to each son. They already know the password to get into the computer for email addresses. Paperwork is in labelled boxes in our 'office cupboard' so easy to find utility and other bills. They say it's enough should we both be taken by a tsunami on a Somerset beach but I will now add passwords for social media and also our Cloud passwords. Isn't death complex?

Takingthemick Fri 03-Mar-17 08:52:21

Thanks Anya have just had a look at this site which will be very useful in the future. Constantly learning on GN.

PamelaJ1 Fri 03-Mar-17 08:54:37

This hasn't been an issue for me but I have now decided that I must get on and get organised. That will look good in my filing cabinet. The death file😕

Flossieturner Fri 03-Mar-17 09:13:56

I think getting everything in one place has been useful. I am very organised but OH has stuff in all different places. Last night he found some more share certificates, phone contracts and camera insurance.

I had control over my parents finances so I knew where every thing was, it was difficult when Phil died. MiL did not have a clue where any paperwork was. We found 3 life policies about six months after he died.

Nana3 Fri 03-Mar-17 09:27:31

Tell us once is very limited I found, I used it but was surprised by how little they actually did.
The pre paid funeral plan was difficult to locate, solicitor had it and it took ages to come, I chose the wrong funeral director (one not on the list) and had to pay a massive top up fee.
The National Insurance Number is used often for identification. But most of all the Power of Attorney must have been registered with a lot of agencies.

Ankers Fri 03-Mar-17 09:46:35

Deeds to the house!
A relative had this problem. His mum and dad had kindly put everything ready.
But no deeds!
And they were never located! The bank didnt have them, the solicitors didnt have them etc.

Ankers Fri 03-Mar-17 09:47:42

Just noticed you mentioned deeds op blush

Rigby46 Fri 03-Mar-17 09:56:51

Details of all pensions being paid

GrandmaMoira Fri 03-Mar-17 11:00:24

There's useful information here and I know I need to sort this out. I'd not heard of Tell us Once. Lynnbo - in my experience with relatives who have died, banks are slow to transfer the money so you were lucky. I have wondered about telling family how to access online accounts. My other paperwork is all together though not very organised. I'm not sure how to get hold of the deeds to my house. I was hoping that when I move (hopefully this year) a solicitor will help me with this.

Maggiemaybe Fri 03-Mar-17 13:16:16

An interesting thread - and one that I'm blaming for the fact that I'm still in my dressing gown blush It led us to discussing our wills and the fact that we need to change the executor details, then to me digging out the copy wills to set this in motion. To discovering that the practice has closed down shock, trying to find out without success what has happened to it, working out who to contact about the "lost" original wills (the Solicitors Regulation Authority, in case anyone else is in the same boat), and firing off an email to them.

I have a schedule of policy and account details that I emailed to all our DC a couple of years ago. I might just spend this afternoon updating it, but I guess I'd better have a quick shower and get dressed first!

That link to Tell Us Once was really useful, Anya. I'd never heard of it but will be adding it to the schedule smile

Maggiemaybe Fri 03-Mar-17 13:23:18

I don't think you need the paper deeds these days. All the details of ownership are lodged with the Land Registry and you can apply online for documents. Our local history society has been appealing for people to let them have any interesting original deeds instead of throwing them out, which is what is happening.

I must say I feel happier having them tucked away in my filing cabinet!

Maggiemaybe Fri 03-Mar-17 13:25:29

This is how to get your deeds, GrandmaMoira

Ankers Fri 03-Mar-17 13:25:50

I think that is what he ended up doing Maggiemaybe. Doing it through the Land Registry.

Anya Fri 03-Mar-17 13:46:11

Getting hold of grave deeds is a sticky one. We somehow managed to bury my sister in the family grave (it's a 4-seater but only my father was down there) no trouble.....BUT when we wanted to have a grave stone erected that was a different matter and we had to prove ownership of the grave.

You'd have thought it would be the other way round wouldn't you?

Luckily after a thorough search of my sisters 'paperwork' we found the 'lost' original deeds. I'd suggest things like this are lodged with solicitors along with Wills and LPAs.

NanaMacGeek Fri 03-Mar-17 15:41:32

Coincidentally, this topic came up at Geek House this morning. I've told my OH and DS that I will set them up as emergency contacts on my password manager (the application that holds all my encrypted passwords for my online life). This means that, in the event of my death, they can request access to my password manager. They can't see my passwords unless they request access. When they request access, I get an email telling me this has happened. If I am OK (it was a false alarm), I can refuse their access, if I'm not and I don't reply to the email within the number of days I specify, they get read only access to my passwords. It seems a good plan because I would only give this information to family I trust in the event of my death anyway. My master password is never written down either.

The only other thing I would add to the topic for discussion is that I didn't get enough certified copies of my mother's death certificates. I had to wait for some to be returned before making further notifications.

Ana Fri 03-Mar-17 15:53:19

Whereas I bought too many when DH died. I went to see a personal advisor at my bank and she only needed sight of the death certificate - in fact she was a wonderful help and dealt with a lot of things for me (no charge!).

BTW the Tell us Once information is usually supplied by the Registrar when you register the death, and I think the hospital where DH died also had a leaflet about it.

Angib Fri 03-Mar-17 16:36:52

Thanks for starting this thread Flossieturner, it has been very useful. Can someone tell me about Power of Attorney and when or if I need to appoint one and how is this done.

bartonlady Fri 03-Mar-17 22:47:56

I have a book file with see through pages. I have an index in the front and have quite a few items which have already been discussed. In addition I have both our pension details, spouses are sometimes entitled to 50% of Company/personal pensions. Plus insurance details.
Also a list for each of us who to contact regarding bills, credit and debit cards etc etc.
Think it's important as when someone dies, grief can be overpowering and not knowing where to look for documentation would make it much harder.

Liz46 Sat 04-Mar-17 07:25:36

I have a file with see through sleeves. in the first sleeve is a summary of all the money I have with interest rate, date bond expires etc. This is updated about three times a year.
Behind and in the correct order, are the bond certificates, pass books etc.

There is a page listing things in the house which could be of some value so they don't just get chucked out.

Before the old 'Enduring Power of Attorney' was stopped, I filled one in and gave it to my daughter. It would have to be registered if she needed to use it.

I think this is a good thread to start OP as we can all learn from each other.

Flossieturner Sat 04-Mar-17 09:22:46

Those thinking of updating their Wills. We have just done ours by phone with Marlow Wills, it has a very high satisfaction rating . The lady was very helpful, telling us about things we had not considered

In my humble opinion, everyone should complete PoA. It is so simple to do on line these days and offers such a lot of Protection. If anyone thinks £110 is unaffordable, there is a reduced fee for those on low income. The alternative is Court of Protection, much higher fees and can take up to a year, plus there is an annual fee to pay and interviews to attend.

I have had a lot of experience lately with the advantages of having PoA for mother and step-father. My SIL on the other-hand, had a breakdown caused by stress when her mum went into care. She had refused to sign a PoA, the LA were insisting that SIL paid full rent for her sheltered accommodation and banks were refusing to release money.

I am happy to answer any questions, but my knowledge is based on personal experience not as a professional.