Dealing with the deceased’s estate probate

Probate (known as confirmation in Scotland) is the legal process of distributing the estate of a deceased person. First you will need to find out whether the person made a valid will. A will explains what should happen to the deceased person’s estate – their money, property and possessions. It may be held by a bank, solicitor, will safe facility, the Principal Probate Registry, a trusted friend or relative.

There are also other factors to consider when dealing with the estate of the deceased, such as paying inheritance tax or if the person had any joint bank accounts.

If there is no will, the person is said to have died intestate and there are different rules – for example, their spouse or civil partner will automatically inherit all their personal possessions and at least the first £250,000 of their estate. The rules around how anything over £250,000 is divided up are complex, and you should take advice if you’re dealing with the estate.

If there is a will, the deceased will usually have appointed executors (in Scotland, these are called executors nominate) to deal with the estate. If no executors were appointed, or there is no will, the court will appoint an administrator (or executor dative in Scotland).

Executors and administrators are known as personal representatives. If you are named as an executor in the will, or you think you are entitled to deal with the estate (if the person died intestate), you will need to apply to the local Probate Registry (the Probate Office in Northern Ireland or the local Sheriff Court in Scotland) for a grant of representation (or confirmation in Scotland). You can do this in person or through a solicitor.

Sometimes there is no need to apply for a grant of representation, for example, if the value of the estate is very small (usually less than £5,000 in England and Wales or less than £10,000 in Northern Ireland).

Confirmation may not be required for estates valued at less than £36,000 in Scotland. In this case you need to write to the bank, building society, or the organisation that is holding the money.

They may insist on seeing documents like a death certificate and evidence of your relationship. In Scotland, you need the authority of the Sheriff Court to do this. You can also consult a solicitor, but they will charge for any advice given or work done on behalf of the executor.

Many funeral directors will be able to help you through this process and offer you personalised advice. Find one near you by clicking here.

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Call a member of the Funeral Choice advice team on 01983 754387

or complete our enquiry form.

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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family
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Attended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees for an Attended Funeral, which is where family and friends have a ceremony or service for the deceased person at the same time as they attend their burial or cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Taking care of all necessary legal and administrative arrangements
  • Collecting and transporting the deceased person from the place of death (normally within 15 miles of the funeral director’s premises) into the funeral director’s care
  • Care of the deceased person before the funeral in appropriate facilities.
  • Providing a suitable coffin
  • Optional viewing of the deceased person for family and friends, by appointment with the funeral director
  • At a date and time you agree with the funeral director, taking the deceased person direct to the agreed cemetery or crematorium (normally within 20 miles of the funeral director’s premises) in a hearse or other appropriate vehicle

In addition to the Funeral Director’s fee, there will be third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements) to cover the other aspects of a funeral (such as the crematorium or burial fees). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to provide these for you.

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Unattended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees and the crematorium fee for an Unattended Funeral, which is where family and friends may choose to have a ceremony, event or service for the deceased person, but they do not attend the burial or cremation itself. This is also known as a Direct Cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Funeral Director's fees
  • Crematorium fee (for an unattended funeral) as selected by the Funeral Director

In addition to this fee, there might be additional third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to explain these for you.

If you wish to attend the funeral, you should view the “Attended Funeral” price instead.

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Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.

Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to info@yourfuneralchoice.com confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.

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