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A timeline of what to do when someone dies

When someone dies, there are many things that you will need to take care of, from registering the death to notifying particular organisations. Understanding what you need to do may help ease some of the stress or confusion you may be feeling.

Day 1: Obtain a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death

As soon as someone dies, you should call a doctor. They'll be able to issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. 

You will then need to find a funeral director, and arrange for the deceased to be collected and brought into their care.

Days 2-5: Register the death

You must register the death in the country where your loved one died. You'll need to find a register office in the area where the death occurred and make an appointment. 

You'll also need to bring certain documents with you, such as the deceased's passport and Birth Certificate. 

Days 5-8: Make funeral arrangements

You should then begin making funeral arrangements with your chosen funeral director. You'll need to consider the type of funeral, coffin, travel arrangements, and other details such as flowers and readings. 

Days 8+: Deal with the estate

If your loved one left behind a will, the named 'executor' will deal with the estate. If there isn't a will, a relative will be appointed as an 'administrator' in order to deal with this.

Inform Tell Us Once about the death within the first two weeks. They will tell authorities and government services that your loved one has passed away, rather than having to contact each authority separately. The deceased's social media accounts will need to be dealt with too.

 


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Has a loved one passed away?

If someone has passed, please call us immediately. We are available 24/7, to help and guide you at every step

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Helpful organisations for grief and bereavement

We've listed a number of helpful organisations which offer bereavement support after the death of a loved one.

View organisations

A downloadable checklist of things to do when someone dies

To help you during this difficult time, we have created a guide which details everything you need to do if you lose a loved one. You can choose from a generic download, or use our interactive guide for a completely personalised checklist.

Interactive what to do when someone dies guide

Our interactive guide will provide you with a personalised timeline of what to do depending on where and how your loved one passed away. This includes information on your nearest registry office and Dignity Funeral Directors, as well as who to notify after a death.

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Download Checklist:

'What to do when someone dies'

Other useful guides

We have created several useful guides to help - from information about what to do when someone dies to planning a funeral, to the key things to think about after the funeral.

Find a Funeral Director

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