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Blog - organise funeral

What To Do When Someone Dies? - A Practical Guide


What do I do when a friend or family member dies in the UK is an awful question, but one we may all have to ask at some point.

When someone close dies there it is incredibly difficult to know what to do first. Grieving is a crucial part of the process, but the there are often practical considerations that need to be thought about. Our simple list helps you work out what to do after someone dies.

The following documents and details will be needed during at some point and so finding these out as soon as possible will make things far easier

  • Details of next of kin
  • The deceased's birth certificate
  • The deceased's National Insurance & NHS Number
  • The deceased's Passport & Driving License
  • The deceased's Tax Reference Number
  • Detail of any religious beliefs held (for funeral plans)
  • The deceased's Will (if one was made)
  • Details of the deceased's pension (if they had one)

There are a number of legal requirements following a death in the UK that need to be fulfilled.

Immediate Steps Following A Death

One of the important things after a death is to not take on too much yourself. Don't be afraid to ask friend and family for help. You will need time to grieve, and between living your own life and organising a funeral, there won't be much spare time.

Organising the Funeral

One of the first things to check is if the deceased had a funeral plan set up (this will often be specified in the will). If they do, great, this should make things much easier. If not, you will need to think about the style of funeral, the budget, and the location. Be sure to shop around, and speak to different funeral directors, as the first one may not be able to deliver the funeral you want, and there may be cheaper alternatives. There is also the option to reduce costs by providing things yourself, rather than through the funeral director. You are able to provide your own flowers, transportation, and the coffin which can help reduce costs.

Organisations To Contact

  • HMRC - For tax and benefit purposes
  • DVLA - To cancel driving license
  • Passport Office - To cancel passport
  • Banks - For mortgage, pension, and insurance details
  • Utility companies - Gas, water, electricity, newspaper deliveries, milkmen

'Tell Us Once' 

This is an incredibly useful service used by the majority of local councils. This means you fill out one form, and it reports the death to most government organisation (including HMRC, DWP, DVLA, Passport Office & the local council). The link to see if your local council participates is https://www.gov.uk/tell-us-once