What to do when someone dies

Losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult thing to go through, so we’ve created this free guide to help make things a little bit easier.

Prefer to talk to a specialist about your situation? We’re here from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm to help.

Step 1

Get a medical certificate

The first thing you need to do after someone dies is get a medical certificate detailing the cause of death. If the person died in a hospital, this should have been given to you by a member of staff. If they died at home, you’ll need to call their GP to get a medical certificate.

Step 2

Register the death

The next step is to register the death and get a death certificate. This usually needs to be done within five days and only takes around 30 minutes, but it can be delayed if there’s an inquest into the death. Find your nearest register office in England and Wales or Scotland.

Step 3

Arrange the funeral

If your loved one made a will, they may have included funeral wishes to help you plan a meaningful farewell. If you want to speak to a specialist about your options or need to use money from the estate to pay for the funeral, please give our cremation team a call.

Step 4

Notify people and organisations

By using the government’s Tell Us Once service, you can notify multiple government departments of your loved one’s death, including the Passport Office, HMRC and the DVLA. You can also use Settld’s free death notification service to inform all companies in one go.

We’ve also created a downloadable checklist highlighting other people and organisations you may need to speak to.

Step 5

Apply for probate

Before you can deal with the person’s estate and distribute assets to beneficiaries, you may need to apply for probate. If you think you might need probate, need help applying or want to speak to a specialist about your situation, please give our probate team a call.

Free bereavement checklist

Our legal and funeral specialists have put together a simple checklist to help you keep track of everything you need to do after someone dies.

Download checklist

Bereavement support with Cruse

We understand that losing a loved one is never easy, but we hope this checklist helps to take some of the weight off your shoulders. If you’re finding this time particularly difficult, you can get support from Cruse Bereavement Care by calling their free helpline on 080 8808 1677.

I entrusted Farewill with my mother’s cremation and could not be happier with my choice. They were efficiency itself right from the initial phone call and took care of absolutely everything. It was a massive weight off my shoulders.

J. McGowan, Farewill customer