Step 1 - Immediate steps to take
Registering the death
The process of registering the death is quite informal and involves a face-to-face interview with the Registrar. To locate your nearest Registrar click here
The Registrar will be on hand to guide you throughout, however, you may feel more comfortable taking somebody along with you.
For more information, go to MyDigiExector
Tell Us Once
Tell Us Once is a service offered online here. Once you have filled in the details it will notify Government organisations that someone has passed away. It is a great help and reduces some of the notifications that an Executor would need to complete.
Who does Tell Us Once notify?
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
You will need to contact HMRC separately for business taxes, like VAT.
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
The local council
Public sector or armed forces pension schemes
You will be required to notify other organisations such as Banks and Building societies separately.
The Death Notification Service
The Death Notification Service, found here, makes the job of reporting a death to financial institutions much easier. Like the Tell Us Once service run by the Government, when you inform The Death Notification Service of all participating bank and building society accounts held by the deceased, they will notify each institution for you, including their various brands, all at the same time.
If you are an Executor or Administrator you will receive information about what to do next once you have completed the notification. Alternatively, if you are not dealing with the affairs of the deceased, and you simply want to help inform institutions, all correspondence will be sent to the Executors or Administrators.
It is recommended that you use both the Tell Us Once and The Death Notification Services as they are two separate and independently run services.
Arranging and organising the funeral
Once the death has been registered, you can start to make the arrangements for the funeral. You may have a local Funeral Director in mind; you will need to check if there is a funeral plan in place as a Funeral Director may already be specified. Contact us if you would like help finding a Funeral Director.
The funeral director will guide you through the whole process and can make all of the practical arrangements on your behalf. You may choose to hand everything over to them or to retain some involvement.
The main duties the funeral director will carry out are:
Take care of the body
Ensure that all the necessary documentation is completed to legally allow the burial or cremation
Make it all happen, at the right time, in the right place and with the right people present
Things you may want to think about are:
Burial or cremation?
What type of coffin?
Religious or non religious ceremony?
Flowers or donation?
Should there be a wake?
Securing the property
If the deceased’s property is now vacant it is important to ensure the property is secured. Make sure all of the windows are closed, the boiler is drained down, electricals are unplugged and all taps are turned off tightly. It is also important to ensure that the property is adequately insured and secured.
If you need to find out who the current energy supplier to the property is, the National Energy Association (NEA) have some helpful advice which can be found here.
Looking after any children, elderly relatives or pets
Vulnerable persons (including children, elderly relatives or disabled dependents):
If the deceased had been caring for a vulnerable person you may need to contact your local Social Services.
Looking after Pets:
If the deceased has any Pets that cannot be looked after by family or friends, it is the Executors responsibility to ensure these animals are cared for. People often leave instruction within their Will for their animals. If this is not the case, then you may need to contact a shelter:
Helping you deal with your grief
You may struggling with many overwhelming thoughts and feelings at the moment. Allow yourself a period of adjustment, give yourself time and be patient. You may find it helpful to follow some of the things below to get you through:
Talking – Can help the healing process and soothe painful emotions. Many people find comfort in sharing their story with others.
Sadness – You’re allowed to feel sad and crying helps your body to release tension.
Sleep – Dealing with such intense emotions can make you very tired, be sure to rest whenever you need to.
Eat – A healthy, well-balanced diet can help you cope with your emotions. Try to avoid things that “numb” the pain, such as alcohol. You may be left feeling worse once the affects wear off.
GriefChat is a completely free service and is available Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm or by email out of these hours.
Cruse is the largest national organisation supporting bereaved people in the UK providing one to one support by trained volunteer support workers, you can find more information here.