Letting people know

Picking up the telephone to tell close family or complete strangers such as an employer about the death is usually difficult.

You may want to ask people you trust to let their branch of the family know or a friend to let other members of their social network know. Once you know when the funeral is, keep the details by the phone so anyone can answer and give this information.

As well as letting relatives and friends know about the death, you will have to close bank and building society accounts or cancel or change insurance details, agreements, payments or direct debits. Banks etc. should be contacted quickly to secure the estate and prevent fraud. An early call should be made to the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) agencies to avoid accidental overpayment of benefits, which will later have to be repaid to the government.

Take copies of important documents and if you post any documents, make a note of when you sent them.

These might include:

  • Employer or private pension provider
  • School
  • Solicitor and/or Accountant
  • Banks and Building Societies
  • Utility Suppliers
  • Phone and Broadband provider
  • Insurance companies
  • Pre-paid funeral plan provider (if applicable)
  • Trade Union / professional organisation
  • Cable TV / satellite service

Government organisations:

  • HMRC Tax Office
  • National Insurance Contributions Office if they were self-employed (to cancel payments)
  • DWP if they received a state pension or any other benefits
  • Child Benefit Office (at the latest within eight weeks)
  • Local authority* if they paid Council Tax, had a parking permit, were issued with a Blue Badge for disabled parking, or received social services help, attended day care or similar
  • UK Identity and Passport Service, to return and cancel a passport
  • DVLA, to return any driving licence, cancel car tax or return car registration documents/change ownership

* Many local authorities offer a service making it easier to inform local and central government departments of the death. Ask your registrar if this service, often called Tell Us Once, is available in your area.

If you’re unsure about whether a particular organisation not listed here needs to be informed, please call one of funeral homes for further advice. We can also help you with the wording of our free online tribute, donations and funeral notice website, plus the placing of announcements in the local paper.

Registering a death

A death should be registered before arranging the funeral and is usually carried out by a relative.

How to pick a funeral director

You can be assured that every funeral home that is part of the Funeral Partners family will provide outstanding client service.

Documents and certificates

Certificates you will need to enable you to start arranging the funeral and sorting out the affairs of the person who has died.

Further Reading: Arranging a funeral

Read about how funerals are arranged and what services you can expect to get.