Legal Matters

Death’s legal matters don’t have to be complex

Getting death in order means tackling the legal side of things. It’s one of the most important aspects of death planning, so get started here.

Click on one of the headings below to jump to the right section for your current needs.

Before death 

There’s a lot to get sorted before you die: writing a will, nominating someone to make future decisions and sorting accounts. Getting this in order before you die helps you to discuss your preferences with loved ones.

When someone dies

When someone dies, you’re handed a load of forms and a funeral directors’ phone number. This can be overwhelming: we look at everything you need to remain level-headed when dealing with the practical side of death.

After death

The legal matters don’t stop once you’re dead. Dealing with a will means the start of the Probate process, and not everyone has got the legal terms down pat. Here we get you up to speed with everything Probate.

Before death

Getting death in order means tackling the legal side of things, and here you can state your most personal choices and get your preferences down in legally binding documents before you die.

Write a will

Not got a will? You’re not alone, nearly 60% of Britons haven’t written one. But it’s the single most important death document – it’s the first point of call for your loved ones to find out funeral wishes and who you’d like your assets to go to. 


Click here to read more about writing a will

Create a Lasting Power of Attorney

Appointing an LPA will allow someone to make decisions on your behalf when you lose capacity. This person can carry out your wishes when it comes to either health and welfare, money and accounts, or both. Click here to read more about Lasting Power of Attorney

Make an Advance Decision

A Living Will, also known as an Advance Decision or Directive, is a legally binding document that states whether you’d want to refuse life-sustaining treatment (if you end up unconscious, can’t eat or are in a lot pain).

Click here to read more about Advance Decisions

Get things legally sorted before you lose mental capacity

Before you lose mental capacity, you can plan for what happens to your bank accounts and bills. We’ve covered how to legally allow someone to manage your everyday accounts in case you no longer have the mental capability.

Click here to read more about sorting out your affairs before you lose mental capacity 

What is inheritance tax?

It seems like everyone’s got an opinion on inheritance tax, but the one thing we can all agree on is that it’s better to get it sorted before you go.

Click here to read more about inheritance tax

Deal with online accounts and your digital legacy

All your online stuff, such as film purchases on iTunes or books on a Kindle, don’t legally belong to you. Find out about managing your online accounts before you die, and of what your digital death legacy consists.  

Click here to read more about your digital death legacy 

Know your Employment rights if you’re dying

If you’ve been given a terminal diagnosis while your still working, you might still be eligible for payslips, and some companies may let you release a pension early. Get to know your rights here.

Click here to read more about employment after a terminal illness diagnosis

Make a smart move today. Sort your Farewell Wishes here

When someone dies

Dealing with the practical side of death immediately after someone dies can be intimidating –  there are a lot of forms to fill in and companies to inform, all while grieving. We break down the process into practical steps.


Forms you need to get immediately after someone dies

Before you can register a death, there’s forms you need to fill in and you’ll need to get a medical certificate. Here’s a rundown of the practical side of death.
Click here to read more about what to do after someone dies 

Deal with online accounts

You’re not able to walk into a bank and access someone’s account, and this is also true of social media accounts. But if you want to retrieve some of a loved one’s online presence there are ways round the social media giants.

Click here to read more about social media accounts after someone dies 

Living abroad and repatriation

If someone lived abroad, and would like to be brought back to the UK for the funeral, then you’ll need to go through the repatriation process. This mostly involves making sure you’ve got provisions in both countries – we break it down here.

Click here to read more about repatriation

Bereavement in the workplace

There’s no legal policy around getting time off work to grieve. Take a look at the current law and see what you can do if you don’t have an understanding boss.

Click here to read more about bereavement leave 

After death

Like grief, legal matters don’t stop once you’re dead, but can carry on for years afterwards. Here we clearly outline what to expect in the Probate process, what it exactly is and how to deal with it.


What is Probate? 

It’s not the most riveting subject, but getting to grips with Probate process will help you navigate this essential part of any death. 

Click here to read more about Probate 

Managing Probate when there isn’t a Will

If someone hasn’t written a Will, the stuff they’ve left behind will be in the hands of the state. If you’re in this situation, get to know what rights you have and what processes to expect. 

Click here to read more about what to do when there isn’t a Will

Debts when someone’s died

Debt doesn’t die with you, unfortunately. But there’s help out there – we look at how to deal with a close one’s outstanding debt after their death.

Click here to read more about debts after someone dies

Where to go to get legal advice now

If you want to get a will sorted immediately, or you’ve been moved to make an Advance Decision right this minute, here’s who we think you should get in touch with.


Ashfords is a modern legal service, with an online emphasis. There’s no fusty stationary here, just efficient and friendly advice.  


With Farewill, you can write your Will in under 10 minutes for 90 quid. Sorted.

Next steps

Now that you’ve got the legal side of death in order, go to our Financial Planning hub.