Online Guided Process

'What to do when someone dies'

When a loved one passes there are many elements that you will need to consider.  Funeral Directions is in place to support.  Our site offers access to resources and information as well as a built in directory to help you search companies that are experienced with these delicate times.

Before you start
Secure all Information

When someone dies there are many decisions and arrangements to make, all of which can be difficult in a time of grief. Some of these can be done by relatives or friends, while others need to be done by the executors appointed to carry out the terms of the will. 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.

What to do in the first five days

When a loved one passes there are many things you need to do in the first five days, these are the things you need to do as soon as possible.

  1. Notify the family doctor
  2. Register the death at the local register office.
  3. Find the Will – the deceased person’s solicitor may have a copy if you can’t find one
  4. Begin Funeral arrangements – you will need to check the will for any special requests
  5. If relevant, complete Certificate of Registration of Death (Form BD8) given to you when you register the death and send to the Local Jobcentre Plus or Social Security.
  6. 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 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.

What is PROBATE?
Applying for 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’

What to do if there is NO Will
What is PROBATE?
Applying for Probate

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:

Personal Contacts

  • Relatives and Friends
  • Employer
  • School
  • Solicitor/Accountant

Download What to do when someone dies guide
Financial Administration Checklist

Government Organisations

  • The relevant Tax Office
  • National Insurance Contributions Office if they were self-employed (to cancel payments)
  • Child Benefit Office (at latest within eight weeks)
  • 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

Tell us once (report to most Government Agents in one go)
Find your Local Tax Office
Child Benefit Online Services
Find a Local Authority
Identity & Passport Service
Contact the DVLA

Financial Organisations

  • General 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
  • Mortgage provider
  • Hire purchase or loan companies
  • Credit card providers/store cards

Search for a Independent Financial Adviser/Advocate


Utilities & Household

  • 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

Find a Local Authority
Royal Mail redirection service

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
  • Dentist
  • Creditors – anyone to whom the deceased owed money
  • Debtors – anyone who owed the deceased money

Register with the Bereavement Register

Useful Links

Benefits & 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 Parents Allowance
  • Make a claim for a Bereavement Payment
  • Make a claim for a Funeral Payment
  • Check your current benefits and tax credits

Find your Local Jobcentre Plus
Bereavement Allowance
Widowed Parents Allowance
Funeral Payments

Making a New Will

Surviving relatives and friends of the deceased may need to make a new will. It’s important to ask a professional will writer or solicitor about this.

Making a Will

Funeral Directors, Will Writers, Solicitors & More


Bereavement & Grief
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.

Bereavement & Grief Support information