This article provides English and Japanese speakers with the first steps to take when a loved one passes away.

When someone dies, a number of things should be organised – including various documents to be collected, checked and completed. This is a quick guide when dealing with the deceased’s estate, especially when you are a family member and/or a personal representative (PR) of the deceased.


Step 1: Registration of the death   死亡の登録

Registration of the death should be done within five days of death.

Step 2: Find out if there is a will  遺書があるかどうかの捜索・確認

The will should state who is/are the executors and they will be responsible for carrying out the deceased’s wishes.

If there is no will, the next of kin usually becomes the administrator of the deceased’s estate.

Executors and administrator are referred to as personal representatives (PRs)

Step 3: Contact family and friends of the deceased (if this is not yet done)


Step 4: Arrange the funeral  お葬式その他ご遺体に関する手配

If the family wishes to arrange the funeral, it is important that all personal representatives (PRs) be kept informed and agree to the   arrangement.

Step 5: Contact all banks, insurance and other companies/firms with whom the deceased had dealings


Bear in mind that the deceased’s accounts will need to be closed or put on hold or transferred.

Step 6: Make suitable arrangements for the deceased’s minors and pets


Step 7: Personal Representatives (PRs) to establish the value of the Deceased’s estate 


Exact figures are required for the values of assets and liabilities at the date of death

Step 8: PRs to complete the inheritance tax (IHT) form(s) and arrange payment(s) 


You may need assistance from your solicitors.

Step 9: PRs to apply for a grant of representation Grant申請

Grant is a document giving the PRs the authority to deal with the deceased’s estate.

Step 10: All assets to be collected and all liabilities paid, and PRs to distribute the estate according to the deceased’s will (or under the intestacy law) 


There are specific duties that PRs must comply with in relation to the estate of the deceased.

We would be very happy to assist you in preparing your will and/or dealing with the estate of your loved one.

Please feel free to contact Richard Bates. If you need assistance in Japanese, contact Mayumi Hawkes.



Later Life Planning and Wealth Management