Check list for what to do when someone dies

Download for printing as a one-page sheet: What-to-do-when-someone-dies-a-check-list (death at home)

1 Straight away
Contact the doctor, who will probably attend as soon as possible. Within the first day or so, you will get a medical certificate showing cause of death. You will also get another document, telling you how to register the death.

2 Same day, or next morning
Contact a Funeral Director. They are available twenty-four hours a day, but you do not have to call them at once, unless you want your loved one to be taken away immediately. They will give you advice on what to do next.

3. Find the will.
This may be with the deceased person’s papers. If not, ask their solicitor or the bank. The reason for finding it as soon as possible is that there may be instructions for the funeral arrangements.

Within five days
Register the death. Look up Registration in the phone book, or ask the doctor, the post office or the police station for the phone number. You will need to ring first to make an appointment. You can go to any register office to register a death, but it may be easier to go to the one in the district where the person died because the paperwork will be quicker.

When you go to register the death
You will need to take the medical certificate. Ask the register office what else you need to take.  You will need • their full name (and any other names they once had)  • the date and place of death  • the usual address of the deceased  • their date and place of birth  • their most recent occupation and their NI number  • whether or not they were receiving a pension or other benefits  • the name, occupation and date of birth of their husband, wife or civil partner.
You should also take these, if available: • their medical card or NHS number • their birth certificate, and their marriage or civil partnership certificates

Before the cremation can take place
If you are having a cremation, you will need a second medical certificate from another doctor. The Funeral Director will deal with this.

As soon as you have a date for the funeral
Discuss with the celebrant or the minister what words and music will be in the funeral. You could do the funeral service yourself – it does not have to be religious.

As soon as possible – urgent
Tell the pension office to stop paying the pension and any other benefits. You will have to repay any money that is sent after the person died. Phone: 0845 606 0265

As soon as possible
Tell the Tax Office □ (0845 300 0627)  GP □ dentist □   optician □ employer □   bank □  building society □   gas □   electricity □   DVLA □  insurance □  solicitor □   clubs □   Premium bonds □   library □  to stop mail □ (Tel: 01732 460 000)

10 Within three months of the funeral
If you do not have enough money to pay for the funeral, you may possibly be able to ask for help from the Social Fund. To claim, you need form SF200, which you can get from your local Jobcentre Plus office.
Tel: 0845 606 0265