Here is a list of organisations and agencies you might need to contact to officially notify of the death. The list is not exhaustive and should only be used as a helpful aid:
Informing the bereavement register, while not absolutely necessary, will remove the deceased’s name from mail order databases and prevent unwanted junk mail sent to the deceased.
A bank needs to be informed when someone has died. If the account if a joint one, the bank will typical transfer it into the name of the surviving holder. If it is a sole account, the bank will freeze the account and cancel all standard orders or direct debits, as well as any debit or credit cards linked to it. You will need to destroy any cheque books, paying in slips and credit and debit cards.
If the total estate is under a certain amount the bank may release the money but you will need to sign an indemnity form and send a copy of the will (if one exists). In other cases the bank will need to see the Grant of Representation before releasing any funds.
You should ask the bank for the balance held in the account as you will need this later when you fill in the inheritance tax form. And you can also ask if any documents or certificates are kept in the bank on behalf of the deceased.
The process for Building Societies is the same as banks. If the deceased had a mortgage in joint names, the responsibility for paying off the mortgage will transfer to the survivor. If a single account then the building society will probably suspend payments until the grand of representations comes through and then will discuss future arrangements. Do check to see if there is any insurance which pays the mortgage on death.
If the person was receiving housing and/or council tax benefit, your local council will need to be informed. If the house is now going to be occupied by one person instead of two then the council tax will be reduced.
Inform the electoral registration officer so the deceased’s name is deleted from the electoral register.
Credit card issuer
If there are credit cards issued by companies other than the bank you should report the death and ask for an up to date statement. If there is payment required, you can let them know that there may be some delay until the grant of representation comes through.
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
The DVLA will delete the record for the deceased and will request the driving licence is sent back to them. If the car needs to be off the road for some time, you should complete a Statutory Off Road Declaration form and a refund for road tax may be given. If the vehicle is to be transferred then the vehicle registration certificate must be signed and forwarded to the DVLA.
If the property is not going to be lived in for some time, you should have the meter read and the supply disconnected. If someone else is going to move in to the property then you should transfer the account to the new person, without the need for disconnecting.
While the deceased’s employer will know about the death already, it’s important to check whether there are any unpaid salary or benefits, or if the company pension is payable to the estate or any surviving partner. You might also need to hand back building passes, computers, and other equipment that belong to the employer.
In the case of full time students, you should inform the educational establishment.
Follow the same process as with the electricity supplier.
The Inland Revenue need to receive a copy of the death certificate before they can issue any rebate for over payment of tax. If you cannot find the deceased’s income tax details and the tax office has no records, then ask their former employer or if they were self-employed try the tax office in the location where the business was based.
It is advisable to send a copy of the death certificate, along with an official notification to the relevant insurance companies. You are not able to transfer car insurance and the agreement will need to be terminated and any over payment refunded to the estate. It is important to note that anyone entitled to drive on the deceased’s insurance policy will cease to be legally insured. House insurance can usually be transferred to any person continuing to live in the house or in charge of the property.
If the deceased was the sole tenant, the landlord needs to be notified and the tenancy agreement terminated while making arrangement to remove possessions from the property. Any outstanding rent payments will need to wait until the grant of representations come through typically.
If someone will continue to live in the property, if the tenancy agreement was joint then it’s normally simplest to transfer to the survivor. If the tenancy agreement was in the name of the deceased alone, then a new contract will need to be agreed and signed.
Library books and membership cards should be returned.
Payment is made of production of a death certificate. If there is no nominated beneficiary it will be paid to whoever is administering the estate.
You will need to return any borrowed equipment to the local hospital or doctor’s surgery and also cancel any doctor or dental appointments.
Premium Bond holdings can be held for a further 12 months and are still eligible for any prize won during this time. At the end of this period the investment is paid to the estate.
The passport should be return to the issuing passport office.
For the state pension, the Department for Work and Pensions should be informed either in writing or a telephone call. Payment books, cheques or cards will need to be returned. If you were receiving a married person’s pension this will be replaced by a single person’s pension. You might also be eligible for a Bereavement Payment.
For personal or company pension, the pension provider should be informed of the death and have the outstanding payments made to the estate or any surviving partner.
Social security benefits
It is worth contacting the Department for Works and Pensions, as you may be eligible for bereavement benefits.
If the deceased was getting meals on wheels, or home care the social services office should be told and return any equipment.
Cancel any subscriptions and stop payments. In some cases a refund may be due.
It is not always easy to find out who all of these are until there is a requirement for payment. In each case you should inform the situation and refer them to the administrator of the will. Under no account should anyone accept responsibility for paying a bill at this stage. Most creditors accept that payment cannot be made until the grant of representation comes through.
Have the telephone disconnected if is it no longer needed and have the invoice send to the deceased’s representative.
Some unions, or friendly societies, will pay out funeral benefits or other benefits to their members so well worth contacting.
Contact the Licensing office if the TV license was in the deceased’s name
Exactly the same as electricity or gas supplier, inform the water company of the situation and arrange for the supply to be turned off if water is no longer required at the property.