Who do I need to tell about a death?
17 Jan 2023

The task of informing everyone who needs to know about a death can be a daunting challenge and the list can be a long one.

It can be an extremely difficult and time-consuming experience and is almost certainly going to be carried out at a time when it really is the last thing you feel like doing. The repetitive nature of the calls and visits make it even more difficult - but it is something which must be done.

Share the burden

This responsibility is often taken on by one person but we find that it can be a burden better shared if others are willing to help. However quiet and simplistic a life the bereaved has lived, there will still be a number of people that need to be contacted. These include initially:

  • Family and friends 
  • GP
  • Funeral director
  • Solicitor instructed by the bereaved if they had one
  • Registrar
  • Employer

Contacting family and closest friends should be one of the first things on your list. It is important that they hear the news from you before picking up on any rumours that will circulate and it ensures the due respect deserving of such close relationships.

Social media

For the wider circle of acquaintances an advert in the local paper is still customary, detailing the name, age, any funeral details of the deceased and the area they resided in.

In today’s world of heightened social media use announcements by way of tributes are often made on the relevant platforms. Then you will need to inform all the other people who have provided services to the deceased. These include:

  • Any relevant Government department in terms of payment of pensions, benefits or universal credit, car tax and disposal of any vehicle
  • Insurance companies
  • Providers of gas, electric, telephone, mobile phone, broadband and TV companies
  • Companies subject to HP arrangements
  • Bank and building society accounts, credit cards, mortgage

You will also need to:

  • Cancel any subscriptions, hospital, optician and dental appointments
  • Inform any accountant or book-keeper who may have been working for the bereaved
  • Redirect mail
  • Inform the local council if the deceased was one of its tenants and make arrangements for a date to clear the property if relevant. The local authority will also need to know if it is necessary to stop council tax payments

If a solicitor is helping you resolve any probate issues concerning the death, they may be able to help by informing some of the parties on your to-do list. It is also possible to deal with all relevant Government departments in one go by visiting the Tell Us Once service. This is something you can consult the registrar about when you register the death.