What to do when someone dies

Dealing with a death of a loved one can be overwhelming; we are here for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – simply contact us and we can guide you through the next steps. We will bring your loved one into our care from wherever they may be resting: home, hospital, or nursing home, then guide and support you through the process and steps that follow.

If your loved one dies in hospital Angle Down

If your loved one dies in hospital, they will issue the medical certificate. We can then liaise with the Bereavement Office on your behalf to collect your loved one and bring them into our care. The hospital may ask for your permission to conduct a post-mortem to gain a better understanding of any present medical conditions. You may wish to consider this, but you are under no obligation to agree to a post-mortem.

Once the medical certificate has been issued, you will need to contact the Registrar to make an appointment in the relevant district office (the district where the death occurred).

If your loved one dies at home or in a care home Angle Down

Once the doctor has been able to confirm the death, you are then able to arrange for us to bring your loved one into our care by calling our office (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) and we will guide you through the process thereafter.

What to do if someone dies suddenly Angle Down

A doctor may decide to report the death to the coroner if the cause of death is unknown, was unexpected, was an accident or the person hasn’t been seen within 14 days. A coroner is a doctor or lawyer employed by The Crown to investigate unexpected deaths. When they become involved, funeral arrangements can become delayed due to the process that takes place, which is perfectly normal. If the death is judged to be as a result of natural causes, the coroner will issue a notification that a post-mortem is not necessary and will administer a certificate so that registration can take place. If a death cannot be judged to be a result of natural causes the coroner may call for a post-mortem or inquest. The death will not be able to be registered until this process is complete. Once the coroner is satisfied, they will issue the necessary documentation to allow for your loved one’s funeral arrangements to be finalised with us.

Registering the death Angle Down

Only specific people are permitted to register a death, usually a close relative of the deceased, someone present at the death, or the person taking responsibility for the funeral.

Information needed to register a death:

  • Cause of Death Certificate
  • Full name of deceased (including any previous names)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Date and place of death
  • Current address
  • Marital status
  • Occupation (or former occupation if retired)
  • Name/address/occupation of spouse or civil partner (if surviving) or name and occupation (if deceased)
  • National Insurance number
  • Documents from the registrar
  • Certified copies of the death certificate (you may purchase as many copies as you need)
  • Certificate for burial or cremation (green form required by the funeral director)

Who to contact when someone dies?

Knowing who to contact when someone dies can be a long, seemingly endless list. We have put together some information to help you know where to start.

Add to this list the person’s nearest and dearest, along with a funeral director of your choice.

Housing Angle Down

Notify the person’s landlord and other organisations as soon as possible. Organisations to contact might include housing associations or council housing offices, mortgage providers, employers and utility providers. You will need to contact each organisation separately.

Legal documentation Angle Down

Notify government departments as soon as possible after receiving the death certificate.

  • 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
  • The local council for their Council Tax, electoral register and other housing benefits
  • Public sector or armed forces pension scheme for their pension

You can use the free Tell Us Once service to notify the above government departments at the same time. The service is offered by most local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland.

You will need to provide the following information:

  • The unique reference number given to you when you register the death
  • Name, date of death and National Insurance number of the deceased
  • Contact details, date of birth, passport number (if available) and National Insurance number of the next of kin
  • Details of the person dealing with the deceased’s estate
  • Permission from the next of kin, the executor, the administrator, or anyone who was claiming joint benefits or entitlements with the deceased, to give out their contact details

If available, you should also provide:

  • Name and address of their next of kin
  • Details of any benefits or entitlements, for example, a State Pension
  • Details of any local council services they were receiving, such as a Blue Badge
  • Name and contact details of the person or company dealing with the deceased’s estate, i.e. the ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’
  • Details of any public sector or armed forces pension schemes they were receiving or paying in to

You will also ideally need to return the person’s passport and driving license as soon as possible after receiving the death certificate by post. You can read more about what to do on the gov.uk website.