What to do when someone dies

Trust Inheritance

Speak to an award-winning bereavement team

0800 954 01 12

In association with award winning and SAIF endorsed Trust Inheritance, we can now provide a free helpline for families to find clear information during bereavement which is delivered by a compassionate team with over 30 years experience.

The legal and practical matters during bereavement can be a source of anxiety and if you get them wrong, there could be legal implications or delays. This can exacerbate the grief process further.

Through Trust Inheritance, we have arranged access to free professional support services that we trust to answer your questions about the legal and practical matters following a death.

Please use the award-winning, jargon-free helpline to ask any questions you may have relating to practical or legal matters during bereavement. From paperwork, to property to probate. Alternatively, click here for access to the online portal which provides further advice online.

What can I get help with?

You can use this helpline to access support for any legal or practical queries following bereavement. Here are some common queries:

  • My next steps- registering a death
  • What is Probate, do I need it and how do I get it?
  • Do I need to hire a solicitor and how much should it cost?
  • Can I administer an estate myself?
  • How do I locate a Will?
  • I need to clear, insure, or sell a property- help
  • What do I do with my loved ones pets?
  • What do I do if someone dies intestate?

Necessary Tasks

When someone dies in addition to arranging a funeral and organising the grant of probate, you may need to contact various organisations, groups and individuals.

Here is a helpful list of some tasks you may need to undertake:

  • Consider people that don’t use social media or anyone who lives outside of the area that may not see the funeral announcements and who you may wish to notify about the funeral arrangements.
  • Credit cards will need to be cancelled.
  • Bank and building society accounts need to be closed and joint accounts need to be amended. It may be prudent to review direct debits and standing orders to see what may need to be cancelled/amended.
  • Car insurance – if the policy is in the name of the deceased, you will not be legally entitled to drive, even if you are a named driver.
  • You may need to send in vehicle registration documents to change the name of ownership.
  • There may be equipment to be returned to social services or the district nurses.
  • Any outstanding hospital or doctors appointments will need to be cancelled.
  • Government agencies such as the Inland Revenue, Department for Work and Pensions. Any social security payments into the deceased’s bank account will need to be cancelled. If the deceased was paying any National Insurance Contributions these will need to be cancelled.
  • You should return the driving licence to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AB
  • Take advantage of the ‘Tell Us Once‘ Scheme, it is very helpful and covers passports, driving licenses and disabled parking badges.
  • Contact the local council to cancel any housing benefits and so they can amend the council tax records.
  • Gas, electric, water, telephone, internet and mobile phone companies will all need to be contacted and contracts amended or cancelled. This can be very upsetting but can be much easier if you ask to speak to the bereavement team who are usually trained to be supportive and caring and will make such tasks a little less stressful.
  • Any store or loyalty cards will need to be cancelled.
  • Consider investments and insurance policies. Premium Bonds are not transferable. You may need to consider seeking the advice of a solicitor or financial advisor.
  • Attendance allowance and other benefits may need to be reviewed and/or cancelled.
  • Repeat prescriptions will need to be cancelled with the pharmacy.
  • You may also need to cancel: milk, meals on wheels, newspapers, home help, and any outstanding appointments, such as the hairdresser, chiropodist, dentist or optician.
  • In our ever increasing digital world, you will also need to think about monitoring email and social media accounts and cancelling any online subscriptions, such as iPhone Apps.
  • Contact the Bereavement Register to help reduce the amount of direct mail that you receive addressed to the deceased.

Calm, sympathetic and patient, I kept interrupting, with a million questions swimming around my head. Chris spoke plainly, answered my questions, but more importantly, understood that most of what he was explaining, was going straight over my head. Later that day, I received an email from Chris, there laid out clearly for me was the information we had discussed, along with bereavement services contact information. The relief was immense, I can’t thank him and the company enough.


Charles gave simple clear advice on dealing with the death of my brother who had died intestate. Professional and supportive.


My mother passed away last week I had found it difficult to have clear information especially on probate from solicitors. Chris explained all aspects clearly which took an enormous amount of worry from me. I am very grateful for the information I received today.


Charlie was a sane voice of reason, caring and articulate and with sensible clear advice. Wonderful to speak to during a difficult time during the time after our bereavement.