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Who to Contact When Someone Dies

Find out who you need to call when a loved one dies

Last updated: 18 July 2019

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Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

It is important to know who to call when someone dies. This has been made easier thanks to the Government’s Tell Us Once service, or the Bereavement Service if you are in Northern Ireland.

Government Services

Tell Us Once

This service allows you to inform the majority of government departments about your loss all at once, without having to contact them individually. This service is available to you once you have registered the death at your local registry office. The registrar should inform you whether the service is available in your area, provide you with the contact details and issue you a unique reference number.

Tell Us Once service is only available in certain areas of the UK. Find out whether it operates where you live by going to the Tell Us Once website.

If this service is applicable to you, you will need to provide the following information about your loved one:

  • Date of birth
  • Passport number
  • National insurance number
  • Driving licence number
  • Details of any benefits or entitlements
  • Details of any local council services
  • The name, address and contact details of the next of kin
  • The name, address and contact details of the executor or administrator
  • Details of public sector or armed forces pension schemes being paid into
  • Permission from the next of kin before submitting this information

This service will inform the below government departments. If you are unable to use this service, the following authorities will have to be informed of about your loss individually:

  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • Passport Office
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
  • The local council of your loved one
  • Public sector or armed forces pension schemes

The Bereavement Service

If you are in Northern Ireland and your loved one was receiving social security benefits, you can contact the Bereavement Service. The Bereavement Service will record the date of death and inform every office which paid benefits to the the person who died. They may also offer you an eligibility check to see if you are entitled to claim benefits.

Non-governmental services

Redirecting post when someone dies

To stop or redirect post addressed to your loved one, your local post office may be able to help. They will ask you to present the Death Certificate and the written confirmation that you are allowed to makes these changes on the behalf of your loved one. There are often charges that apply for this service.

Junk mail can be stopped by informing the Bereavement Register. The majority of companies regularly compare their mailing lists to this register, so it should lessen the quantity of junk mail being received. No fee is required for this service.

The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) might also help to stop marketing mail to be sent to the deceased.

Closing a bank account after death

It also advisable to inform all insurers and banks or building societies about your loss. By doing so, you will reduce the quantity of mail being sent to your loved one, be able to amend the details of any shared accounts, cancel any standing orders or direct debits and potentially discover unclaimed plans or other funds that may contribute towards the funeral costs.

Banks will usually require proof of death in the form of the Death Certificate and proof that you are the executor of the estate.

To find out about the financial support available to you, visit our financial help with funeral costs page.

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