Dealing with Practicalities

There are many things to attend to when someone dies, both practical and legal requirements.

  • Do involve family and friends as responding to these practical things can be overwhelming for one person and sharing tasks can be a chance to talk with others about the person who has died and bring people together.
  • When arranging the funeral your funeral director can talk you through the processes required and options available but try not to feel rushed or overwhelmed.

There is plenty of useful free guidance available such as the UK Government website and the Bereavement Advice Centre. There are some variations in the processes required in the devolved nations (please see our further information and support page).

Below is an overview of the steps and processes involved, for more detailed information go to: (UK Government website).

  1. Registering the death needs to be done within 5 days of the person dying. You’ll get a ‘certificate for a burial’ to give to the funeral director, or an application for cremation which you need to complete and give to the crematorium. You must do one of these before the funeral can take place.
  2. Arranging the funeral, did the person have a funeral plan, are there plans already in place for the conduct of the funeral, can you involve friends and family to help you carry out their wishes? Check prices first and consider all options.
  3. Telling the government about the death - The Tell Us Once service allows you to inform all the relevant government departments when someone dies.
  4. Check if you are eligible for any bereavement benefits.
  5. Identify who is named as executor(s) of the person’s will or needs to deal with their estate – check if probate is required (seek appropriate legal advice). This can be a daunting process, so if possible ask for support from your family and friends.

Closing accounts after a death is complex and frustrating involving multiple companies and organisations. There are services such as Life Ledger which can provide a free service to assist you with notifying organisations of a death.

Bereavement Advice Centre is a web-based information service provided by the Co-operative Group. Their website address is:

The information on the Bereavement Advice Centre site is sourced from government and other professional websites and publications. It includes practical information and advice including: registering a death and informing others, probate and legal procedures, death certificate and coroner’s inquest, the funeral, money and tax issues, and junk mail suppression service.