What to Do After a Death in the Family

You will undoubtedly feel intense grief following the loss of a loved one. Not only will you need to accept the passing of a relative. But there are also various processes you must undertake to move forward with your life, such as registering the death and arranging a funeral.

To help you begin to recover and move forward with your life following the loss of a much-loved relative, read the below helpful advice on what to do after a death in the family.

1. Request a Medical Certificate

It’s only natural to want to grieve in the comfort of your home following a loved one’s death, but you might have no other choice but to pick yourself up and register the death of a relative. To do so, you will first need to request a medical certificate from either a hospital doctor or GP.

2. Register the Death

Once you have received the requested medical certificate from a doctor, you have five days to register a loved one’s death in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, you will have eight days if you live in Scotland. It is important to register the death, as this will provide you with the documents you will need to arrange a funeral for your loved one, which will offer both you and your relatives with some closure following the tragic event.

3. Organise a Funeral

You have two choices when organising a funeral: you can either use a funeral director or arrange it yourself. If you choose the former, you must pick a funeral director who belongs to either the National Association of Funeral Directors or The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF). Each will follow a code of practice and can provide a price list upon request.

4. The Dealing of a Will and Property

It is essential to be aware that you do not need to deal with a will or property immediately. A will details what will happen to a person’s property and belongings following their death. It is only valid if it was signed by the deceased and two witnesses. Unfortunately, some family members may wish to contest a will or trust, which is why you should turn to The Inheritance Experts for assistance.

5. The Tell Us Once Service

Take the stress out of contacting multiple government organisations regarding a loved one’s death in the UK by using the Tell Us Once service. Doing so will allow you to notify multiple government services in one form, such as HMRC, the Passport Office, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the DVLA, Veterans UK, and the local council. However, to do so, you will need to know your relative’s date of birth, National Insurance number, driving licence number, vehicle registration number, and their passport number. It is also important to receive permission from their next of kin, the executor and anyone who is claiming joint benefits or entitlements with the deceased. You can then start to move forward with your life.



  1. 26th October 2018 / 3:58 pm

    This is really helpful – remembering all the little things after loosing a loved one x

    • 29th October 2018 / 10:47 am

      Thank you, it is one of the hardest times to go through, and just having something to look at to help can make things a little easier x

  2. 26th October 2018 / 3:59 pm

    A topic about a sad time but some great easy to digest advice. Thanks!

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