Emily Price

What to Do When Someone Dies

Published 11 months ago • 2 min read

A death in your family can be sudden and unexpected; it's very common for the loved ones of the deceased to go into shock and be unsure of what to do next. In this article, we take a look at some of the legal and procedural things you need to do when someone close to you passes away.

Register the death

Within five days of the person dying, you’ll need to register the death at a registration office, these are located all over the UK, and you can find your local one by searching on the government website. They will ask questions such as the name and details of the person that has died, the time of death, the person's occupation and their date of birth, among other questions. You may also need to provide documents such as the person’s driving licence, passport and proof of address. What you need to know and provide will be based on the details surrounding the death. You can contact your local registration office for more advice and help with this step. Often the registrar will also inform the government through the tell us once service; if they don’t, they will advise you on this step.

Inform utility companies, banks, landlords etc

There are often lots of companies that you’ll need to contact and inform about the death of an individual; this can be a challenge and take some time to complete. First of all, the best thing to do is go through all of their paperwork and create a list of who you need to contact. There are also lots of online lists that can help you figure out if there are any companies or associations that you’ve missed. Once you have the list complete, you can start calling them to inform them. Alternatively, some companies may have online forms for this process which could be quicker and less stressful. It's always a good idea to have all the details and information about the individual to hand as the companies may ask for more information.

Arrange the funeral

After you’ve informed everyone that needs to know, you can begin the funeral arrangements. Some people will have information written about the type of funeral they want or funeral plans that will deal with all of the arrangements and payment for you. If none of these things are in place, it will be up to the family to decide and arrange the funeral. Some people can get help with the funeral arrangements or pay them with the money left by the deceased. It's a good idea to check this before you pay for anything yourself.

Apply for probate if needed

You may need to apply for probate to deal with the person's finances and estate; this will depend on several factors, including the assets the deceased had and if anything was jointly shared with anyone else. In addition to applying for probate, you may wish to obtain probate insurance to protect yourself against any claims after the estate has been distributed. Applying for probate can be a complex and time-consuming process; read more about applying for probate.

Deal with the estate

Once you have probate, if needed, you can deal with the estate according to the will or the rules of intestacy. As part of dealing with the estate, the assets will need to be divided between the beneficiaries and any tax and outstanding debt, and bills will need to be paid from the money the deceased left or the value of their assets. Dealing with an estate can take time, especially if there isn’t a will and probate genealogists need to be hired to locate missing beneficiaries.

These are some of the main steps you need to take when someone dies; there are also additional things you’ll need to consider, such as your own personal health and benefits. If you’re struggling with this whole process, there are professionals and charities that can help you through and take some of the pressure off. It can also be helpful to speak to close family and friends who are also grieving or people who have dealt with a family member's death in the past.

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Emily Price

Hi, I'm Emily! I'm a blogger and writer who loves to travel, cook, and try new things. I'm always looking for new experiences and making connections with new people. I also love all things related to nature.

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