What to Do When Someone Dies
Dealing with practical and administrative tasks after the death of a loved one is never easy, particularly if it was sudden or unexpected.
However, when a person dies, there are necessary steps that must be taken. Some require careful consideration and planning.
First Steps – Confirm and Register the Death
There are a number of practical and legal requirements after a death. The first two are to confirm the death and then to register the death, which must be done within 5 days (8 in Scotland) after the death.
Next – Inform Authorities and Check Will or Letter of Wishes
After the death is confirmed and registered, the next step is to advise the authorities, which includes government and other organisations. You also need to check if there is a will or letter of wishes to understand who to contact and steps to take.
Applying for Probate and Planning the Funeral
Once the initial formalities have been completed, the most common next step is to apply for probate to start the probate process and administering the estate. Finally you may also want to to start making funeral arrangements with a funeral director or celebrant.
One of the most important things you can do when someone dies is to seek out support from others. Whether it’s family members or friends, having people around you who understand what you’re going through can make all the difference.
There are other bereavement support resources available such as grief counselling and support groups that can help you through the grieving process. Whatever your process looks like, it’s essential to take care of yourself during this time.
Planning Tools to Help You Gather and Share Information
The whiteballoon Checklists below provide a printable summary of the things you may need to do or think about when someone dies.
Our helpful Planning Tools make keeping track of everything so much easier. Create a personal Ideas Folder in which to save ideas and choices. This can be printed out or shared digitally with those closest to you or your funeral director.