When someone dies there are many decisions and
arrangements to be made. Some of these things can be done by a close relative
or friend, others need to be done by the executor or administrator of
Collect the death certificate
Before you can register a death, the doctor treating the deceased will issue a medical
certificate of cause of death. This will be given to the deceased's
If the death was sudden or the doctor treating the
deceased is unavailable it may not be possible for a medical certificate
of cause of death to be issued. If so, the death will have to be
reported to the coroner. This may lead to a delay in registering the
Register the death
Every death in England or Wales must be registered in
the district in which it takes place. This must be done within five
days of the date of death.
'Tell Us Once' service
Once is a new government service that will help you with your recent
bereavement. It allows you to inform all relevant central and local government departments by phone or online
about the person who has died. The Registrar will discuss this with you at your death registration appointment.
You could also register the name and address of the deceased person with the Bereavement Register, which tries to prevent post being sent to people who have died.
- Arranging the funeral - The funeral can usually only take place after the death is registered. Most people use a funeral director, though you can arrange a funeral yourself.
- Dealing with tax and benefits - If you used the Tell Us Once service, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should contact you about the tax, benefits and entitlements of the person who died.
- Deaths abroad - You must register a death with the local authorities in the country where the person died.
- Cemeteries and Crematorium Department - If you are arranging a funeral yourself.
- Bereavement Allowance (previously Widow's Pension) - You might be able to claim Bereavement Allowance if you’re widowed between 45 and state pension age.
- Bereavement Payment - You may be able to get a £2,000 Bereavement Payment if your husband, wife or civil partner has died. This is a one-off, tax-free, lump-sum payment, based on eligibility.
- Widowed Parent's Allowance - You might be able to claim Widowed Parent’s Allowance if you’re widowed under state pension age and have at least one dependent child.
- Wills, probate and inheritance - When someone dies, you’ll need to get the legal right to deal with their property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’).
- Telling DVLA about a bereavement - Information about how to inform the DVLA.
- Update property records when someone dies - How you update the property records when someone dies.