Losing a loved one is a hugely emotional experience yet, at what is a time of deep grief, some important and difficult decisions still need to be made.
It is very easy to become overwhelmed by the responsibilities that arise when you lose a loved one so we have outlined below some of the key steps you must take when someone dies:
This must be done within 5 days in the UK - this includes weekends and bank holidays. Before you can register the death, you’ll need either:
You must do one of these before the funeral can take place.
The funeral can usually only take place after the death is registered.
No-one ever wants to organise a funeral but, when the inevitable happens, choosing an appropriate funeral, burial or other way of saying goodbye to your loved one is an important part of remembering them. Most people use a funeral director.
Your choice of funeral director is important as you should feel comfortable and confident that you, and the person who has died, will be professionally and compassionately cared for and that the services offered are both within your budget and include a range of choices that are right for you. You may know a particular funeral director, they may have a good reputation in your area, or they may be recommended by a friend, your GP or religious advisor.
Your funeral director can make all arrangements for a funeral, including burial or cremation and a religious or secular service. He/she can also advise you on procedures and the documents you need to register a death.
You may wish to consider choosing a funeral director who’s a member of either:
Both organisations require their members to adhere to strict Codes of Practice.
Funeral costs can include:
The funeral can be paid for:
You can apply for a Funeral Expenses Payment if you have difficulty paying for the funeral.
The ‘Tell Us Once’ service allows you to inform in one go all the relevant government departments when someone dies. When you register the death, the registrar will:
After you register the death, you must use the service within 28 days.
You'll also need to tell banks, utility companies, and landlords or housing associations yourself.
TIP: Before you use Tell Us Once, you’ll need the following details of the person who died:
You’ll also need:
NOTE: You’ll have to let the relevant organisations know about the death yourself if:
You might be eligible for financial help. Check if you can get:
You might have to deal with the will, money and property of the person who's died if you're a close friend or relative, or the executor of the will.
There are a number of small, local charities listed on the Social Responsibility website (www.social-responsibility.co.uk) that can offer support, guidance and advice in dealing with death and bereavement.