Father passed leaving son in house - what steps first?

This is a completely separate issue as many of you on here are currently advising on a probate post I created regarding an executor dragging their heels.  
This is completely separate.

my step son lives with his dad who sadly passed last night.  Aged 55.  No will.  House is paid for. There is a 2nd son who lives in his own home with his new wife.
my step son (27) is in pieces and doesn’t even know where to start.  He doesn’t cope well with stress.
he’s already worrying about bills, the car on the driveway etc but we’ve told him not to worry about those just yet.
what are the main things he/we need to help him with straight away please?  Paramedics are at the house at the moment so it’s quite raw.  We live 2 hours drive away so are trying to organise what will need doing first etc. before we head up to be with him later. 
thanks all in advance 
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Comments

  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,253
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    There’s nothing he needs to be doing at the moment other than letting his brother know. 

    The next priorities will be sorting out the funeral, which may depend on how expected or unexpected the death was, and if there needs to be any post-mortem. 

    If he’s the sort who needs to be doing something practical, he could start looking for paperwork for various things and gathering information about finances et cetera. But he doesn’t need to be doing that today - it would just to be to give him something to do.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • doodling
    doodling Posts: 933
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    edited 27 December 2023 at 11:21AM
    Hi,

    To be honest, there is probably merit in doing nothing except telling family and friends and starting to deal with the funeral.  Leave everything else until the new year.  Once you start down the path of notifying people then you really need to be prepared to do most of it.

    Telling his bank will stop direct debits coming out but you probably won't be able to put alternatives in place until the new year so they would bounce - that isn't a problem, as noone would care in the circumstances but easier to give yourself time and just wait for the new year.

    Of course, if your step son is the kind of person who must be doing something then a frustrating day on the phone might take his mind off things a bit, but I don't think that is the case from what you have said.
  • If the death was unexpected there maybe a post mortem before your family gets a death certificate.  

    I expect your step son will be shattered today both with the shock plus dealing with the practical issues of paramedics etc.

    For now the advice to hunt for paperwork and make a list of utility suppliers, banks, loans, account numbers, telephone number of bereavement department, any readings if applicable because if the utility accounts were in the name of the deceased will need to be changed.  Check if he had a funeral plan - if not make a list of undertakers and ring round for funeral quotes.

    Deal with it after the New Year - remember the 'Tell it once...' service too.  

    Make a note to ask for copies of the death certificate when it is available -  think I asked for 6.

    No will = letters of administration so maybe look up what that entails.
  • As others have said nothing needs to be done immediately. Going forward whoever is going to administer the estate needs to inform the local authority (council tax) and the energy suppliers. If the son is going to be staying there he will become responsible for those bills so probable with taking meter readings ASAP.

    The lack of will may cause problems going forward if the siblings are not on good terms or if the father was married to an estranged wife.
  • longwalks1
    longwalks1 Posts: 3,701
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    Thank you everyone for your advice, we’re going up to see him first thing tomorrow and will take your advice with us and help where we can
    thanks again 
  • longwalks1
    longwalks1 Posts: 3,701
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    As others have said nothing needs to be done immediately. Going forward whoever is going to administer the estate needs to inform the local authority (council tax) and the energy suppliers. If the son is going to be staying there he will become responsible for those bills so probable with taking meter readings ASAP.

    The lack of will may cause problems going forward if the siblings are not on good terms or if the father was married to an estranged wife.
    Hi Keep Pedalling
    ill get him to take meter readings tomorrow, and thankfully the son gets on well with his only brother, they are very close.  Theres no estranged wife (they were divorced 12 years ago and she’s now my long term partner).
    there are a couple of troubled, absent brothers of the deceased who we are expecting to turn up out of the blue for handouts like they have done in the past.  

    Sadly, we are preempting the estate being fought over especially with no will, so no doubt I’ll be back for advice in the future.  Hoping it won’t be too stressful for the boys.
    thanks again everyone 
  • With just 2 children it’s a case of slitting the estate 50/50. The complication is that one of them lives in the house. Not a problem if their father owned other assets of equal or higher value, but if the house makes up the bulk of the estate it will need to be sold for a fair distribution to take place although a deed of variation to give the occupant a life interest would be a possibility.
  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 31,520
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    longwalks1 said:
    Sadly, we are preempting the estate being fought over especially with no will, so no doubt I’ll be back for advice in the future.  Hoping it won’t be too stressful for the boys.
    thanks again everyone 
    With two (true blood) sons there is nothing to fight over apart from between themselves, no one else is in line for anything, so as long as they get on there should not be any problems

  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,544
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    there are a couple of troubled, absent brothers of the deceased who we are expecting to turn up out of the blue for handouts like they have done in the past.
    If there's any chance that they have a key to the house, get the locks changed asap.
    If any neighbours might have a key and be sweet-talked into giving it to the brothers, get that back.
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 9,937
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    edited 27 December 2023 at 2:28PM
    molerat said:
    longwalks1 said:
    Sadly, we are preempting the estate being fought over especially with no will, so no doubt I’ll be back for advice in the future.  Hoping it won’t be too stressful for the boys.
    thanks again everyone 
    With two (true blood) sons there is nothing to fight over apart from between themselves, no one else is in line for anything, so as long as they get on there should not be any problems

    Wouldn't stop the absent brothers from having a pop at the estate, possibly by registering a caveat or claiming they had expectations of being 'provided for if they've been given handouts in the past. Nothing anyone can do except deal with the situation if it arises.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
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