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Summary checklist following a death


When someone dies there are many decisions and arrangements to make, all of which can be difficult in a time of grief. To help, we've put together this checklist to help guide you through the process.

What to do in the first five days following a death

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 registration office

  • find the will - the deceased person’s solicitor may have a copy if you can't find one

  • begin making funeral arrangements - you will need to check the will for any special requests

  • if the person who has died was receiving any benefits or tax credits, complete form BD8 given to you when you register the death and send to the local Jobcentre Plus or Social Security office

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.

Here is a list to help you keep track:


  • relatives and friends, employer, solicitor/accountant

  • the relevant tax office

  • National Insurance contributions office if they were self-employed

  • Child Benefit office 

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 & 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

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