What to do when someone dies?

In the event that someone dies, there are many arrangements and decisions that have to be made. This can be a daunting task, especially in the time of grief. This check list will provide a useful guideline to help you through the process.

For starters, the following information about the deceased person needs to be gathered:

National Insurance number
NHS Number
Birth certificate
Date of marriage/civil partnership (if applicable)
Tax Reference Number

What to do in the first five days

These are some of the steps that need to be taken shortly after death. Your GP or hospital will be able aid you with these early steps:

Notify the family GP

Register the death at a register office
Funeral arrangements – check the will for special requests
Complete and return the BD8 form provided when you register the death (if applicable)
If the deceased received any benefits or tax credits, notify the relevant institutions making the payments
Locate the will – the solicitor of the deceased may have a copy
If there is no will, decide who will be appointed to deal with the affairs of the deceased

Who to contact?

Apart from informing people who were close to the person, you may be required to close accounts, cancel or change insurance details, subscriptions, payments or direct debits.

Some of these may not be applicable to you, but this is a useful checklist to keep track:

Friends and relatives
Employer
School/University
Solicitor/Accountant

Government organisations:

Tax Office
National Insurance contributions office
Child Benefit office
Local Authority (council tax, parking permits, social service, blue badge for disabled parking etc.)
UK Identity and Passport office (return or cancel passport)
DVLA (cancel driving licence, car tax, change of ownership etc.)

Financial Institutions:

General insurance companies – house, contents, car, travel, medical etc.
Any companies with which the deceased had rental, hire purchase or loan agreements
If the deceased was the primary name on a insurance policy, make sure to contact the company to check that you are still covered
Pension providers/Life insurance companies
Banks & building societies
Mortgage providers
Hire purchase/Loan companies
Credit & store cards

Utilities and Household contacts:

Landlord or local authority (for rented accommodation)
Private organisations providing domestic help
Utility companies
Royal Mail (re-directing mail)
TV/Phone/Internet providers

Other Contacts:

Bereavement Register and Deceased Preference Service (removing the deceased’s name from mailing lists and databases)
Clubs, trade unions, associations with seasonal membership (cancellations and refunds)
Church/other place of worship
Social/networking groups to which the deceased belonged
Dentist
Creditors (anyone to whom the deceased owed money)
Debtors (anyone who owed money to the deceased)

Benefits and financial help

If you lived with, or were dependent on the deceased, you may be able to claim one-off payments and certain benefits. Time limits apply so contact your local Jobcentre plus for details. Possible benefits that may apply to you:

Bereavement allowance
Widowed parent’s allowance
Bereavement payment
Funeral payment

Grief counseling and support

If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulties from losing a loved one, you can ask for help from your family doctor or contact special organisations such as the Cruse Bereavement Care. They will be able to provide the aid & counselling necessary to ease the bereavement period.

Making a new will

Surviving relatives or friends of the deceased may need to make a new will. Get in touch with your solicitor for guidance regarding this.