Who to contact when someone dies

pair of hands holding a mobile phone

When a family member dies and you have to organise their affairs there’s a lot to think about. A good place to start is by letting people know they’ve passed away.

But who do you need to contact when someone dies? We’ve put together a list of who to contact and when to do it. We hope it make things easier for you.

Are you in immediate need of help?

If you’ve just found someone who’s died or may be seriously injured call 999 straight away. Explain your situation and they’ll tell you what to do next. If you’re on your own, call a relative or friend who lives nearby for support. If that’s not possible call on a neighbour for help.

Who to contact when someone dies and it’s expected:

Call their doctor and nearest family member

If the death was expected (perhaps the person had a terminal illness) the doctor will give you a medical certificate with the cause of death. The doctor may come to the house to confirm the cause of death. But if the death was expected and the doctor has already seen the person within the last two weeks, the doctor may not need to come out. The surgery will arrange the medical certificate for you instead so you can collect it when you’re ready.

Call family members who live nearby too. They may want to say goodbye and they can also be there if you need support.

Who to contact when someone dies unexpectedly:

Call 111 for advice

If a family member or friend dies unexpectedly call 111 for advice. They’ll tell you whether to call an ambulance or the person’s doctor. If paramedics arrive they can confirm that the person has passed away but a registered health professional must issue the death certificate. So it’s likely that you’ll still have to contact the person’s doctor.

If it’s not clear why the person died a coroner may need to carry out a post-mortem exam to find out what happened. The paramedics or doctor will usually contact the coroner for you. If this happens funeral plans may be delayed. This is because you won’t get a death certificate straight away so you won’t be able to register the death as quickly.

Who to contact in the first 24 hours:

Call the register office and a funeral director

Once the death has been confirmed and you’ve got a medical certificate for the cause of death you can register the death at your local register office. You’ll need to do this within 5 days of the death so booking an appointment at the register office in the first 24 hours of the death is sensible. You may not be able to get an appointment for a couple of days. At the appointment they’ll give you a death certificate so you can find a funeral director.

If a coroner is carrying out an investigation into the cause of death you won’t have to register the death within 5 days. You’ll be given an extension. And the coroner will usually send the medical certificate directly to your local register office.

You can arrange for the funeral director to collect the person who died and to look after them in a chapel of rest before making funeral plans. But remember that the person doesn’t have to be moved straight away. There’s time for you and other family members to say goodbye if that’s what you’d like.

Who to contact in the first 48 hours:

Call other family members and friends

You may want to reach out to other family members and friends of the person who passed away. Letting them know what happened can be draining especially if you have to call a lot of people. So ask other family members to help with this. You can support each other through the process and check in with one another regularly too.

Who to contact in the first 72 hours:

Call people they’d see regularly and services they’d use a lot

Who to contact in the first week:

Call government bodies, financial companies and service providers

 

Government organisations you’ll need to tell and why

Did you know you can use the government’s Tell Us Once Service? This helps you notify several government organisations of a death all at once. This service will notify all the organisations in the list above as well as Veterans UK and some public sector pension schemes.

 

Financial companies to contact

 

Household contacts and utility providers

Struggling to call all the companies you need to? See if Settld the death notification service or LifeLedger can help. They’re free death notification services that’ll tell different companies all at once.

Ask other family members to help out with the simpler calls too. Splitting up the list of people to contact between 2 or 3 of you will make things easier to handle.

Who else should you contact when someone dies?

Useful info to have ready

When you tell different organisations about a person’s death it’s useful to have essential info to hand. We’ve listed what you might need below. So you’re not searching for things every time you’re filling out forms or making a phone call.

Keep the following to hand:

If you’re responsible for handling the person’s estate, you may need to give your contact details to some organisations too.

Getting through all the paperwork and phone calls takes some time. So knowing who to contact when someone dies will at least help you work through phone calls quicker. Hopefully our checklist helps you manage things so you can take the time to you need to cope with your own emotions too.

 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family
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Attended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees for an Attended Funeral, which is where family and friends have a ceremony or service for the deceased person at the same time as they attend their burial or cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Taking care of all necessary legal and administrative arrangements
  • Collecting and transporting the deceased person from the place of death (normally within 15 miles of the funeral director’s premises) into the funeral director’s care
  • Care of the deceased person before the funeral in appropriate facilities.
  • Providing a suitable coffin
  • Optional viewing of the deceased person for family and friends, by appointment with the funeral director
  • At a date and time you agree with the funeral director, taking the deceased person direct to the agreed cemetery or crematorium (normally within 20 miles of the funeral director’s premises) in a hearse or other appropriate vehicle

In addition to the Funeral Director’s fee, there will be third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements) to cover the other aspects of a funeral (such as the crematorium or burial fees). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to provide these for you.

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Unattended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees and the crematorium fee for an Unattended Funeral, which is where family and friends may choose to have a ceremony, event or service for the deceased person, but they do not attend the burial or cremation itself. This is also known as a Direct Cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Funeral Director's fees
  • Crematorium fee (for an unattended funeral) as selected by the Funeral Director

In addition to this fee, there might be additional third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to explain these for you.

If you wish to attend the funeral, you should view the “Attended Funeral” price instead.

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Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.

Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to info@yourfuneralchoice.com confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.

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