When someone dies it can be hard to handle personal affairs and funeral arrangements. Besides letting family and friends know, there are several organisations you need to notify when a person has passed away.
Here is a checklist of the documents to help you think through the next steps:
1. Legal pronouncement of death – Register the death within five days for England, Wales, Northern Ireland; within eight days for Scotland. If the death has been reported to the coroner you cannot register it until the coroner’s investigations are finished.
- In England and Wales – the Register Office
- In Northern Ireland – the District Registration Office
- In Scotland – the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages
When you have provided the required information, the registrar will give you:
- a certificate for burial or cremation (known as the Green Form)
- a certificate of registration of death (form BD8)
- leaflets about bereavement benefits
- a death certificate
2. Check the decision for organ donation. Your loved one may have already registered to be a donor, so check for paperwork and let hospital staff know immediately. Organ donation is time-sensitive and therefore it is crucial to act quickly.
3. Decide on funeral plans – Once you have registered the death, you can arrange the funeral. You don’t have to use a funeral director if you don’t want to – you can have a ‘do-it-yourself’ funeral. If you’re paying for the funeral, think carefully about what you can afford.
4. Notify government departments
- Passport Office to cancel their passport
- HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for their taxes
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to stop their State Pension and benefits
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to cancel their driving license, car tax and car registration documents
- Local council for their Council Tax, electoral register and other housing benefits
You can use the Tell Us Once service on the GOV.UK website
You may need to contact other organisations as well, such as:
- pension scheme provider
- insurance company
- bank and building society
- mortgage provider
- utility companies
- GP, dentist, optician and anyone else providing medical care
- magazine subscriptions the deceased person made regular payments to
- business-related – company registration documents, accounts, tax, and VAT returns if they had a business
5. Ask the post office to forward mail and when you re ready close email accounts – This will help you identify bills that need to be paid and accounts that should be closed. Once you have all the necessary information on other accounts, close your loved one’s email accounts to prevent fraud and identity theft.
It’s good to remember about bereavement support.
There are a number of organisations that offer support to help you deal with your grief:
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