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A timeline of what to do when someone dies

When someone dies, there are many things which you will need to take care of, from registering the death to notifying particular organisations. We recommend notifying your funeral director as soon as possible, so you can receive advice and support on the next steps of funeral planning and everything in-between. Understanding what you need to do may help ease some of the stress or confusion you may be feeling.

Stage 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.

Stage 2: 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. 

Stage 3: Contact your funeral director

You can contact your funeral director as early as stage one, so they can prepare to bring your loved one into their care. If you haven’t already, contact your funeral director as soon as possible to be guided through the next steps. When getting started on making funeral arrangements, you will need to consider the type of funeral, coffin, travel arrangements and other details such as flowers and readings.

Stage 4: 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.

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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