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What to do after someone dies

Guidance on what to do after someone dies.

There are 3 things you must do in the first few days after someone dies.

  1. Get a medical certificate from a GP or hospital doctor. You'll need this to register the death.
  2. register the death within 5 days. You'll then get the documents you need for the funeral.
  3. Arrange the funeral - you can use a funeral director or arrange it yourself.

Tell Us Once service

Tell Us Once is a service that lets you report a death to most government organisations government departments and local council services in one go.

Organisations Tell Us Once will contact

  • local councils

    • Housing Benefit Office

    • Council Tax Benefit Office

    • council tax

    • collection of payment for council services

    • libraries

    • electoral services

    • blue badges
    • Adult Services
    • Children's Services
    • council housing
  • Department for Work and Pensions
    • Pension, Disability and Carers Service

    • Jobcentre Plus

    • Overseas Health Team

  • HM Revenue and Customs
    • Child Benefit
    • Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit
    • Personal Taxation
  • Identity and Passport Service
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
  • Ministry of Defence, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency
    • War Pensions scheme

Before you use Tell Us Once

You'll need the following details of the person who died:

  • date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • driving licence number
  • vehicle registration number
  • passport number
  • death certificate

We may also ask you for information about:

  • any benefits or entitlements they were getting, for example State Pension
  • their next of kin
  • any surviving husband, wife or civil partner
  • the person or company dealing with their estate (property, belongings and money), known as their 'executor' or 'administrator'
  • any public sector or armed forces pension schemes they were getting or paying in to

You need permission from the next of kin, the executor, the administrator or anyone who was claiming joint benefits or entitlements with the person who died, before you give their details.

Book an appointment

You can make an appointment to register the death and use the Tell Us Once service in the same visit.

Contact us to use the Tell Us Once service after registering a death:

contact Dorset Registration Service

Find out more information about the Tell Us Once service on

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