Telling people and organisations about a death can be stressful. It might help to do this sooner rather than later.
You might want to consider placing a death notice or obituary in the newspaper, though there is a charge for this, or you may want to post something on social media.
Sometimes your benefits will need to be reassessed after a death, such as if you had a joint claim with the person who died or were receiving Carer’s Allowance for them. If this is the case, you should call the Bereavement Service helpline on 0800 731 0469. For more information on government support with funeral costs and bereavement, see sections 11 and 12 in our guide.
Tell Us Once
This service is available in most areas of the UK, allowing you to report the death to several government agencies at once, including HMRC, DWP, Passport Office and DVLA.
Once you register the death, the registrar will give you a Tell Us Once reference number. You will need this to use the service by phone 0800 085 7308 or online www.gov.uk/tell-us-once
You will need the following information:
- Name and date of birth of the person who has died
- Their National Insurance number, driving licence number, vehicle registration number and passport number
- Details of any benefits or entitlements they were getting, e.g. state pension
- Details of any public sector or armed forces pension schemes they were getting or paying into
- Details of any local council services they were getting, e.g. Blue Badge
- Name and address of their next of kin
- Name, address and contact details of the ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’ of their estate
In Northern Ireland and in certain other UK councils Tell Us Once is not available. In this case or if you prefer not to use the service, you will need to let all relevant organisations know about the death yourself.
If the death has been referred to the coroner, it may be a while before you can register the death, so you may decide to contact organisations yourself too. However, some local authorities will help you access the Tell Us Once service once you have an interim death certificate. Contact your local register office to check.
Whether you use Tell Us Once or not, there will still be other people and organisations you will need to contact. They may include:
- Family members, including any living abroad
- Friends and neighbours
- Employer and trade union
- Family GP and any other health services
- Social Services to cancel any care services
- Solicitor (may hold the will)
- Bank/building society/Post Office
- Private/workplace pension provider
- Insurance companies (car, life, home and contents policies etc.)
- Mortgage company/landlord
- Creditors e.g. credit card and loans companies, catalogues, BrightHouse etc.
- Utilities companies, e.g. gas, electricity, telephone, water, TV Licensing etc.
- Mobile phone company
- Bus/rail company (for return/refund of passes)