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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 28 February 2009
When someone close to me finally succumbed to a long term illness I purchased a copy of this book on the recommendation of someone who already had a copy.

Coping with decisions and practicalities in the midst of bereavement is a ghastly experience. This book is helpful, offering practical advice and explaining the technicalities of concepts and unfamiliar procedures. I really didn't know anything about executors and probate, and it was useful to know what to expect when we met with people like solicitors, the vicar and the funeral director. Everyone was helpful but this book let me know what to expect, which was of enormous value to me. The fewer suprises at a time like that, the better.

I didn't read the book from cover to cover, just read the bits that I needed, so I've given it four stars because I cannot comment on the book as a whole. On the other hand, the bits that I read were certainly worth five stars as they untangled a lot of my confusion and helped me to find a bit of direction. It helped the brain to kick in a a time when it truly didn't want to.

I wish that I had read it long before I needed to, and would recommend that anyone with older or unwell family members or friends should read this book, or a similar one, before they actually need to.
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on 28 June 2010
this book really helped me pin down exactly what needed to happen following my mum's death. it can be really hard to know what to do in the aftermath of somebody dying, and this book clears all the confusion up. indeed, there is a wealth of government information on the internet, but it's hard to make sense of it, especially when you're hurting. i'd recommend this book wholeheartedly - i knocked a star off because i didn't understand the section on capital gains tax (probably my own fault anyway).
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on 19 November 2009
I found this book mildly useful, yet very useful.

The first part of the book takes you through the immediate formalities of death - collecting hospital / doctors forms, registering the death and the like. I had a fair idea of what to do, and by the time the book arrived, had completed most of the tasks. It was reassuring to note that I'd done everything correctly.

The second half was invaluable. OK, I could probably work out a value, as it saved the cost of employing a bank or solicitor to handle the probate / executorship. It explained in simple steps how to handle the finances of someone who has died, and also told one when legal advice might be needed. In my case, I found it very simple following the instructions and saved a lot of money...
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on 4 December 2008
Few people are really aware of what needs to be done at difficult times like this. The book is quite comprehensive, dealing with a wide range of issues that need to be done quickly versus those taking months. Its clear when you need to get professional advice, and when not.

Strongly recommended.
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on 27 December 2012
I bought the book because I was a joint Executor of my aunt's estate. The solicitor immediately renounced his rights as executor - I asked him to do probate but he said it was a waste of money for him to do it. The third executor said she wanted to renounce too but took a long time to actually do so, which gave me a problem as the solitor declined to send the will to me until she had done so. Given the difficulties, I wanted a book that told me how to obtain probate, what enquiries I needed to make etc.
A lot of this book is about registering the death, arranging the funeral and coping with grief and I didn't need help on any of those topics. I thought it was over the top to have 66 pages on the funeral. I also noticed that registration covered complicated areas like people who die abroad. I don't think it's a good idea to cover those in an all purpose book.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As much as we hate to think about it, death is part of life and unfortunately cannot be avoided. It is an upsetting and traumatic time, during which a lot of people have difficulty even thinking straight. Even when a person is terminally ill and the final outcome is inevitable, it is still a huge shock with the world turning upside down.

This is where this Which book - "What to do When Someone Dies" comes in. It is there to read as a preparation. It is an easy to read and follow book, that is jam packed with information from the first steps when someone dies, through Postmortem examinations, The Coroner, Registering a death, making Funeral arrangements, Probate application, Administration and the process of grief. For funerals it gives helpful information in respect of the different religions and how some things vary in Scotland. For Probate, there are different processes in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Every home should have this Which book and also the one titled, Wills and Probate, also published by them in the same series. No one lives forever and we never know what is round the corner or what we will be called upon to deal with, but help is at hand. These 2 books should be browsed through and kept ready, so that you have quick and easy reference and help just when you need it. If the Executors of your Will are not solicitors or a Bank, then it is a kindness to purchase these books as they will be a great aid to the friend, relative, layperson who has been kind enough to agree to be your Executor.

I thoroughly recommend this book which is easy to read and has many many helpful references. It is also a great memory jogger when trying to plan end of life circumstances, as things can be organised in advance, or even just jotted down as to your wishes for funeral etc.
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on 24 January 2012
I used this after the death of both my father and mother and would recommend it highly. There's lots of good information out there on leaflets and websites, but this book pulls everything together into one really clear little package that's easy to carry around and have with you whenever you need guidance.

It covers all the bases - from registering the death and the funeral through to probate and distributing the estate - and is very clearly laid out so you can quickly find what you need. Basically, it's everything you'd expect from a Which? publication.

If you need to apply for probate, and are prepared to do it yourself, that's the most complicated task you'll face. It's actually less daunting to DIY than you might think, and I found the book very helpful here. You may need to look elsewhere for some more detailed information but the book's guidance helps you understand those other sources.

One word of advice. I was surprised - perhaps I shouldn't have been - by how many bank and building society staff were misinformed about their organisation's procedures when an account holder dies. Everyone was very helpful but surprisingly often took what turned to be the wrong action or gave me incorrect or incomplete advice. I don't recall if the book mentions this, but if it does it should perhaps be more prominent.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Personal circumstances made this a perfect choice to review for the Vine programme.

This book is a really helpful guide to the range of procedures and issues that might have to be covered by someone having to deal with the death of a friend or relative. It covers a huge array of topics from the very practical immediate issues of registering the death, arranging the funeral, funeral options and so on to infinitely more complex issues like probate, the role of an executor or intestacy. It even manages to find space for advice on some of the emotional issues, though its primary purpose is as a very practical 'how to' guide.

There are sections which many people will skip through because of their own experience of previous bereavements or the recorded pre-determined wishes of the deceased, but a great virtue of the book is that it is easy to skip the sections which are not relevant to focus on those which are. (The criticisms of another reviewer complaining that there is a section on deaths abroad and a substantial section on funeral arrangements strikes me as missing the whole point of a guide of this kind - people DO die abroad and many people fail to leave precise requests for funeral arrangements: if the reader finds them unnecessary, they simply move on! But how helpful to know that pretty much every eventuality is competently covered in a reliable, slim volume.) It is thorough and, as far as I can tell at this point when I have yet to put its advice to the test, accurate in its guidance.

Not the sort of book one wants to need, but one which is very reassuring to have when a loved one dies. Recommended.
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on 12 May 2014
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on 19 March 2013
Whether you are grieving, or trying to help someone else, this book covers it all - very informative. It covers all aspects of grieving (i.e. shock, anger, sadness, loss of a child, suicide, death abroad, etc) but also tells you who to go to and what you need to do in a bereavement. Very highly recommended. (I used to work in the funeral business and am now in the process of becoming a counsellor).
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