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What to do when someone dies checklist

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  • What to do when someone dies checklist

    When someone dies there are many decisions and arrangements to make, all of which can be difficult in a time of grief. Here is a list of things that need to be done, hopefully it will help you. Please feel free to ask questions if you are unsure about anything.
    Before you start, it would be useful to have the following information to hand about the person who has died.
    • National Insurance number
    • NHS number
    • date and place of birth
    • date of marriage or civil partnership (if appropriate)
    • tax reference number

    What to do in the first five days

    There are a few steps that need to be taken shortly after the death. In many cases the hospital or GP involved will help you with these early steps:
    • notify the family GP
    • register the death at a register office
    • find the will - the deceased personís solicitor may have a copy if you can't find one
    • begin funeral arrangements - you will need to check the will for any special requests
    • if relevant, complete form BD8 given to you when you register the death and send to the local Jobcentre Plus or Social Security
    • if the person who has died was receiving any benefits or tax credits, advise the offices that were making the payments - if you can't find relevant correspondence, use the links below to the tax credit helpline and Jobcentre plus.

    If there is a will

    • contact the executor if this isnít you (usually nominated in the will to sort out the deceased's affairs) to enable them to start the process of obtaining probate

    If there is no will

    • decide who will apply to sort out the deceased's affairs
    • contact the Probate Registry to apply for 'letters of administration'

    Who else to contact

    As well as informing people who are close to the person, in many cases you'll need to close down accounts, or cancel or change insurance details, subscriptions, agreements, payments or direct debits.
    Hereís a list to help you keep track; just cross through the ones that donít apply:

    • relatives and friends
    • employer
    • school
    • solicitor/accountant

    Government organisations

    • the relevant tax office
    • National Insurance contributions office if they were self-employed (to cancel payments)
    • Child Benefit office (at 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

    Financial organisations

    • general insurance companies - contents, car, travel, medical etc
    • any other company with which the deceased may have had rental, hire purchase or loan agreements
    • if the deceased was the first named on an insurance policy, make contact as early as possible to check that you are still insured
    • pension providers/life insurance companies
    • banks and building societies
    • mortgage provider
    • hire purchase or loan companies
    • credit card providers/store cards

    Utilities and household contacts

    • landlord or local authority if they rented a property
    • any private organisation/agency providing home help
    • utility companies if accounts were in the deceased's name
    • Royal Mail, if mail needs re-directing
    • TV/internet companies with which the deceased had subscriptions

    Other useful contacts

    • Bereavement Register and Deceased Preference Service to remove the deceased's name from mailing lists and databases
    • clubs, trade unions, associations with seasonal membership for cancellation and refunds
    • church/regular place of worship
    • social groups to which the deceased belonged
    • dentist
    • creditors - anyone to whom the deceased owed money
    • debtors - anyone who owed the deceased money

    Benefits and financial help

    You may be able to claim certain benefits and one-off payments if you lived with or were dependent on the deceased. Time limits apply, so contact your nearest Jobcentre Plus office as soon as possible to find out.
    • contact Jobcentre Plus
    • make a claim for Bereavement Allowance
    • make a claim for Widowed Parentís Allowance
    • make a claim for a Bereavement Payment
    • make a claim for a Funeral Payment
    • check your current benefits and tax credits

    Making a new will

    Surviving relatives and friends of the deceased may need to make a new will. It's important to ask a solicitor about this.

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