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When someone dies there are many decisions and arrangements to make, all of which can be difficult in a time of grief. To help, Direct.gov have put together a checklist to guide you through the process.
What to do when someone dies
When someone dies there are many decisions and arrangements to make regarding their home, belongings and other matters, all of which can be difficult in a time of grief. To help, we've put together this checklist to guide you through the process.
Before you start, it would be useful to have the following information to hand about the person who has died.
National Insurance number
Date and place of birth
Date of marriage or civil partnership (if appropriate)
Tax reference number
What to do in the first five days
There are a few steps that need to be taken shortly after the death. In many cases the hospital or GP involved will help you with these early steps:
Notify the family GP
Register the death at a register office
Find the will - the deceased person’s solicitor may have a copy if you can't find one
Begin funeral arrangements - you will need to check the will for any special requests if relevant, complete form BD8 given to you when you register the death and send to the local Jobcentre Plus or Social Security if the person who has died was receiving any benefits or tax credits, advise the offices that were making the payments - if you can't find relevant correspondence, use the links below to the tax credit helpline and Jobcentre plus
If there is a will
Contact the executor if this isn’t you (usually nominated in the will to sort out the deceased's affairs) to enable them to start the process of obtaining probate
If there is no will
Decide who will apply to sort out the deceased's affairs
Contact the Probate Registry to apply for 'letters of administration'
Who else to contact
As well as informing people who are close to the person, in many cases you'll need to close down accounts, or cancel or change insurance details, subscriptions, agreements, payments or direct debits.
Here’s a list to help you keep track; just cross through the ones that don’t apply:
Relatives and friends
Solicitor / accountant
The relevant tax office
If the deceased lived alone
Inform the Landlords
Organise the property clearance
National Insurance contributions office if they were self-employed (to cancel payments)
Child Benefit office (at latest within eight weeks)
Tax Credit office
local authority if they paid council tax, had a parking permit, were issued with a blue badge for disabled parking, or received social services help, attended day care or similar
UK Identity and Passport Service, to return and cancel a passport
DVLA, to return any driving licence, cancel car tax or return
car registration documents/change ownership
Gneral insurance companies - contents, car, travel, medical etc
Any other company with which the deceased may have had rental, hire purchase or loan agreements
If the deceased was the first named on an insurance policy, make contact as early as possible to check that you are still insured
Pension providers/life insurance companies
Banks and building societies
Hire purchase or loan companies
Credit card providers/store cards
Utilities and household contacts
Landlord or local authority if they rented a property
Any private organisation/agency providing home help
Utility companies if accounts were in the deceased's name
Royal Mail, if mail needs re-directing
TV / internet companies with which the deceased had subscriptions
Other useful contacts
Bereavement Register and Deceased Preference Service to remove the deceased's name from mailing lists and databases
Clubs, trade unions, associations with seasonal membership for cancellation and refunds
Church / regular place of worship
Social groups to which the deceased belonged
Creditors - anyone to whom the deceased owed money
Debtors - anyone who owed the deceased money
Benefits and financial help
You may be able to claim certain benefits and one-off payments if you lived with or were dependent on the deceased. Time limits apply, so contact your nearest Jobcentre Plus office as soon as possible to find out.
Contact Jobcentre Plus
Make a claim for Bereavement Allowance
Make a claim for Widowed Parent’s Allowance
Make a claim for a Bereavement Payment
Make a claim for a Funeral Payment
Check your current benefits and tax credits
Making a new will
Surviving relatives and friends of the deceased may need to make a new will. It's important to ask a solicitor about this.
Bereavement – counselling and support
Everyone deals with bereavement in their own way. If you or someone you know needs counselling or support, ask your family doctor or contact an organisation such as Cruse Bereavement Care. Their aim is to promote the well-being of bereaved people and provides counselling and support. The organisation also offers information, advice, education and training services.
Your local authority may provide support and advice about the arrangements that need to be made after a bereavement, such as registering the death and obtaining a death certificate. If you follow the link to the bereavement service you can enter details of where you live and you will be directed to your local authority website where you can find out more.
For further information click here