What to do when someone dies
It is perfectly normal to be unsure of what to do when someone dies. Simplicity Cremations are here to walk you through the steps that need to be carried out when someone dies, so you can get things done the right way. Don't forget, we are available to talk at all hours should you need us.
When someone dies, particularly someone you were close to, it can be a very emotional and confusing time. If you are responsible for making the funeral arrangements it can be difficult to know what you need to do. Besides letting family and friends know, there are practical arrangements that you will need to make and organisations you will need to notify. We’ve created a guide that explains what to do when someone dies.
Step 1: Get a medical certificate
When someone dies at home, a GP should be called but if this is not possible then call 111 and ask for an ambulance. A medical form will be issued by a doctor that will confirm the death. If the person who has passed away is to be cremated, another doctor will need to separately certify the death and provide a second medical death certificate. If a doctor is unsure about how the person died, or the death is unexpected or suspicious, a coroner may be contacted so that a post-mortem can be carried out.
Step 2: Register the death
You can use the UK Government website to begin to register a death. You will need to do this within 5 days (or within 8 days for Scotland). In most cases you will need to be a relative of the deceased or someone with recognised authority over the proceedings. You can go to any register office but if you use the one in the area where the person has died you’ll be given the documents you’ll need on the day. If you use a different register office, the documents will be sent to the office in the area where the person has died before they are issued to you.
Take the following documents of the deceased:
- birth certificate
- marriage or civil partnership certificate
- NHS medical card
The registrar will need to know:
- the person’s full name
- maiden name (if applicable)
- their date of birth
- their place of birth
- their last address
- their occupation
- the full name, date of birth and occupation of their spouse
- if they were receiving a state pension or benefits
Step 3: Contact your chosen funeral provider
The funeral can only take place after the death is registered.
Opting for a Simplicity Cremation will mean you do not have to engage the services of a Funeral Director or visit a branch. The process can be started with one simple phone call to our team of funeral professionals.
Step 4: Notify the government and relevant organisations
In the week’s following the death, you’ll need to start advising various organisations.
You can notify several government offices in one go using the Tell Us Once service. This is a free service and available in most areas of England, Wales and Scotland. If this service isn’t available to you, you’ll need to contact the relevant departments directly.
- HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC)
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
- Passport Office
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
- Local Council
It’s important to inform banks and other financial providers. The Death Notification Service is the simplest way to do this as it notifies a number of banks and building societies at the same time.
Property and bills
You will also need to notify organisations with which the person was a named account holder.
- Mortgage providers or landlord
- Utility and communications providers
- Insurance providers
- Private pensions
You may also consider redirecting the post of the person who has died by filling in a Special Circumstances form and taking it to your local Post Office.
Why choose Simplicity Cremations?
Not everyone wants a traditional funeral, and many do not see the value in some of the more ceremonial aspects.
At Simplicity, we offer you an alternative choice with a range of funerals to suit your needs and budget.
To arrange a low cost funeral call our team on 0800 484 0260.