Checklist: What to do after someone has died
When someone dies, there are many decisions to be made at a difficult time.
To help, we have put together a short checklist.
Register the death
Within the first five days, the death needs to be registered by the next of kin or the person
organising the funeral. To do this, you will need to make an appointment at the local registrar of
births, deaths and marriages.
For the Peterborough area the number is 01733 864646 and for the Cambridge area the number is
You will be asked for the following information:
- Their full name and usual address.
- Date and place of birth.
- Date and place of death.
- Whether the person was receiving a pension or social security benefits.
- If appropriate, maiden name and full name and occupation of their spouse.
The registrar will give you two/three forms:
- A green form to be given to the funeral director giving permission for the body to be buried or
- The death certificate. We recommend that you obtain five to ten copies of the death certificate.
There is a charge for each copy death certificate.
- A white form to be forwarded to the Department for Work and Pensions if the person received a
state pension or benefits.
Find a copy of the Will
The Will may state the deceased’s funeral arrangements. You should also check to see who is
appointed to deal with the administration of the estate and contact them (the Executor). If you
are unsure whether or not a Will exists, it is possible to make a search on the Certainty national
database to see if one has been registered. If there is no Will, the law specifies who can
administer the estate and who inherits the estate.
Make an appointment to see a funeral director. Ask what is included in the basic cost and what
you need to pay as extra. The deceased’s bank will issue a cheque (provided there is enough
money in the accounts) upon receipt of the funeral director’s original invoice.
Secure the home
Secure the house and its contents. If they lived alone, you will need to contact the insurer to
ensure that the insurance cover continues. It is also advisable to store valuables in a safe place.
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