What are the initial steps you need to take when a loved one has died?

  • It is necessary to go through the deceased’s papers which will help to identify the assets and liabilities of the estate. These include Bank/Building Society statements, insurance policies, shares, stocks and title deeds
  • The insurance cover on property or other valuable assets should be checked
  • It may be wise to remove valuables, turn off the mains water, install additional locks and alarms in the deceased’s home and informing neighbours, the insurance company and the local Garda Station that the house is unoccupied
  • Gather together and protect all the deceased’s assets such as money, shares and property. Valuations of all the assets and liabilities of the estate must be obtained setting out their value at the date of death
  •  Tax liabilities and any debts owed must be dealt with. If the deceased person dies insolvent or there isn’t enough money to meet the bequests then payments from the estate as prioritised as follows – funeral, testamentary and administration expenses, creditors who have security against the property of the deceased, preferential debts (mainly taxes due) and then all other creditors.
  • Call in any outstanding funds due, this is money owing to the deceased
  • Pay the funeral expenses
  • Make sure that the spouse or civil partner and children know about their legal right share
  • Make sure the entitled beneficiaries or next of kin get what they are entitled to, and that ownership of property is passed on correctly
  • If the deceased was receiving a social welfare payment, you must inform the Department of Social Protection of the death before distributing the estate
  • Supply a PPS number

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Gary O’Sullivan

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