The passing of a loved one is often a shock. Even if it’s anticipated, procedure is often the last thing on a person’s mind during this difficult time. One of these important procedural steps is informing the correct people that the person has passed.

Who you need to tell about the passing of a loved one will depend very much on your circumstances. Read our list below and see which might apply to you.

Find out what else you need to do when someone close to you passes away.


1. Relatives and friends

Inform close friends or relatives of your loved one’s passing. How you choose to inform them is up to you, but with close friends and family, you will usually have an idea of how they would prefer to hear the news.

2. Employer/school

Businesses and schools have processes in place for dealing with deaths. A phone call to your loved one’s employer or school office will enable these organisations to carry out practical steps like settling outstanding payments as well as moral ones, such as informing staff/colleagues/pupils of the individual’s passing.

3. Solicitor/accountant

It is important that you contact your loved one’s solicitor or accountant, if they had one. Aside from the immediate relevancy of any wills your loved one had written, a financial advisor may be able to help you with other financial documents – see Financial organisations below.

4. Government organisations:

  • The relevant tax office – this needs to be done as soon as possible
  • National Insurance contributions office if they were self-employed (to cancel payments) Find your local Tax Office
  • Child Benefit office (at latest within eight weeks) Child Benefit online services
  • Local authority if they paid council tax, had a parking permit, were issued with a blue badge for disabled parking, or received social services help, attended day care or similar Find a local authority
  • UK Identity and Passport Service, to return and cancel a passport, Returning a deceased person’s passport
  • DVLA, to return any driving licence, cancel car tax or return
  • Car registration documents/change ownership

There is a useful “Tell Us Once” government website where much of this can be achieved in one go. Once a death is registered the Registrar will send code if they are in the scheme which can then be entered into this system: (Not available in NI.)

5. Financial organisations:

  • General insurance companies – contents, car, travel, medical etc.
  • Any other company with which the deceased may have had rental, hire purchase or loan agreements
  • If the deceased was the first named on an insurance policy, make contact as early as possible to check that you are still insured
  • Pension providers/life insurance companies
  • Banks and building societies
  • Mortgage provider
  • Hire purchase or loan companies
  • Credit card providers/store cards

6. Utilities and household contacts

  • Landlord or local authority if they rented a property Find a local authority
  • Any private organisation/agency providing home help
  • Utility companies if accounts were in the deceased’s name
  • Royal Mail, if mail needs re-directing Royal Mail redirection service
  • TV/internet companies with which the deceased had subscriptions

7. Funeral provider

Your loved one may have taken out a Pre-paid Funeral Plan, in which case you should contact the relevant company to discuss putting the plan into motion.

If they did not take out a plan, you should begin thinking about planning a funeral. This can seem daunting and costly at first, especially if you haven’t put aside for funeral expenses, but there’s plenty of help available.

8. Who to tell about a death: other useful contacts

  • Bereavement Register and Deceased Preference Service to remove the deceased’s name from mailing lists and databases
  • Clubs, trade unions, associations with seasonal membership for cancellation and refunds
  • Church/regular place of worship
  • Social groups to which the deceased belonged
  • Dentist
  • Creditors – anyone to whom the deceased owed money
  • Debtors – anyone who owed the deceased money

This list was taken from here.

If this list looks long, don’t worry. Not every point will be relevant to the deceased. The loss of a loved one is never easy, but we hope that by sharing this list, we help to relieve some of the burden of who to tell about a death.

Click here to find out more about our Direct Cremation options.